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Sr. Marie-Paule Willem, A Franciscan Missionary of Mary, who has been serving the poor in the United States and around the world for more than 60 years, will receive the 2018-19 Lumen Christi Award from Catholic Extension. Willem, who speaks five languages, is currently in ministry in the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she serves women in detention and leads a growing parish along the U.S.-Mexico border as pastoral administrator.


Immigration officers arrested Sister Patricia Fox, Philippine superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, at her convent in Quezon City for allegedly engaging in illegal activities. Immigration officials have accused Patricia, who has worked in rural commnities for 27 years, of being an "undesirable alien" for joining protest rallies and visiting political prisoners. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Pabillo called the arrest "political," an attempt to intimidate those fighting for social justice in the country.

Please pray for Sr. Patricia.



The LCWR 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award recipient will be Anita Baird, DHM.

Anita has played significant roles in effecting systemic change for persons who experience poverty and marginalization, and has worked for decades to address the root causes of racism on local and national levels withing the Catholic Church and in the civic community. She was the first African-American to serve as chief of staff to the archbishop of Chicago, was a founding director of the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Racial Justice, and served as liaison for Cardinal Francis George for race relations in the city of Chicago.

A member of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, Anita has served as her community's regional superior, provincial councilor, and most recently as its U.S. provincial. Among her many leadership positions, she was president of the National Black Sisters' Conference. LCWR will bestow this honor on Anita at the August assembly in St. Louis.


Missionaries of Jesus Sr. Norma Pimentel is the 2018 recipient of the University of Notre Dame's Laetare Medal, which has been given annually since 1883 for contributions to the church and humanity by a Catholic. Pimentel is executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and advocates for immigrants and refugees.


School Sister of Notre Dame, Carol Shinnick, has been appointed to serve as interim director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) by its board for a six-month term effective January 1, 2018. The three-year term of previous director Sr. Joan Marie Steadman ended December 31, 2017. Shinnick served as executive director of the conference from 2002 to 2008, and has previously served her community in leadership from 1992 to 2001. The conference will continue its search for an executive director.


Sr. Mary Antona Ebo, 93, a Franciscan Sister of Mary who was the only African-American sister to march with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Selma protest for voting rights March 10, 1965, died November 11, 2017, at a retirement community outside St. Louis. She was a founding member of the National Black Sisters' Conference, which awarded her the Harriet Tubman Award, and she served as its president. Rest in peace, Sr. Mary Antona.