Two weekends ago, I joined a couple of Springfield Dominican friends to spend time at our motherhouse and to attend the “Women and Spirit” exhibit touring parts of the country. The weekend was just what I needed!
My friends and I began Saturday spending prayer time in our beautiful chapels, enjoying the quiet of each one. We also visited the softly lit reliquary, the current art exhibit, and were greeted each step of the way by hundreds of brilliant flowering plants placed in every window and hallway warmed by sunshine. That afternoon, we ventured out to see the “Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America” exhibit at the Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque. If you haven’t yet seen this extraordinary exhibit, please do!
Women and Spirit is a traveling exhibit that tells the story of women religious and our 300-year history in this country. The stories represented are nothing short of phenomenal and capture U.S. sisters’ involvement in education, hospitals and health care, social service, social justice, community building and more during some very difficult times. The exhibit uses a variety of media components, including breath-taking photography and rare artifacts. Organized by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), it is truly something worth seeing. Being in the presence of all of that history was a sacred and awesome experience. I left wanting more -- more of the history, conversations with some of the sisters profiled and the people they served, and a strong desire to see as much as humanly possible all that women religious are engaged in today. I am humbled and grateful to be a part of our unfolding history.
If you have any thoughts of becoming a sister or simply want another experience of our lives, past and present, check out the Women and Spirit exhibit! If you have already seen it, how were you affected by what you saw, heard, and read?
Tanya Williams, OP