A Source of Strength: Sisters in the Spirit

By: Mariann Hughes

Women, especially African-American women, who are interested in impacting the world around them, can look to “Sisters in the Spirit” to help them find tangible ways to get involved and make a difference.

Members of the Sisters in the Spirit are dedicated to helping those in their community.

This initiative is a response to a call for action issued at last year’s  National Gathering for Black Catholic Women in Charlotte, N.C., sponsored by the National Black Sisters’ Conference. The theme of the gathering was “Commemorate, Celebrate and Commit.” The purpose was to “develop a collective sense of Heritage, Identity, Purpose and Vision and to provide opportunities for ongoing dialogue, reflection and networking with Black Catholic Women.”

After several women from the Diocese of Arlington attended this conference, they returned with a renewed zeal to tackle issues such as the way in which violence and abortion affect the African-American community.

These women held their first formation meeting of Sisters in the Spirit in Fredericksburg. Mrs. Therese Wilson Favors, a conference presenter, said the challenge for African-American Catholic women is “to continue to use their talents as women who minister in the Church and society for the greater glory of God. By claiming our giftedness, we commit to use our collective energy and creativity to shape our future … in our families, communities and parishes.”

The first formation meeting featured fellowship, sharing and prayer. The break-out groups began the formulation of mission, vision and purpose for this new organization. Moving forward, the group hopes, as African-American Catholic women, to share their authentic selves in performing spiritual works of mercy, particularly by providing instruction, programs and support to each other, to their families, and to the community.

All women, not just African-American women, are welcome to join these efforts in promoting a renewed respect for life, the mentoring of youth and the sharing of gifts in the Diocese of Arlington.

The next formation meeting of Sisters in the Spirit will be held on Sunday, May 22, from 2-4 p.m. at the Salem Church Library, Fredericksburg.  For more information about this group and their vision for the future, contact Iris C. Brown at (540) 834-2117 or by email at jmac23icmb@verizon.net.


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