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#Cincy200: Consecrated Women & Men to Celebrate Bi-centennial with Service

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by Rebecca Sontag

“We knew we wanted our part of the celebration to be a day of service,” said Sister Rita Sturwold, SNDdeN. And nothing could be a more fitting contribution from these women and men religious to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s bicentennial celebrations.

When the first orders of sisters and brothers first arrived locally, beginning with the Sisters of Charity in 1829, it was to serve and care for the burgeoning communities of immigrants. They brought with them a rich tradition of prayer, love and community, which formed the foundation of their vast and varied contributions to health care, education and social justice. The respective legacies these communities – 21 in all – have cultivated continue to bear much fruit.

WELCOME NEW NEIGHBORS.

As they prepare to join in the celebration of the archdiocese’s 200 years of existence, the sisters, brothers and priests who belong to these communities would like to invite each of you to unite in this grand celebration that will be punctuated by two major events.

The warm-up for the big show is 10/10/2020 and it’s easy to get involved. Start by visiting www.cincy200.com for lots of information and fun ideas that are both simple and meaningful. Bake some cookies for a neighbor, learn about a different culture or do a good deed for a stranger. And, ask yourself this: Who are the “strangers” in my life, and how can I welcome them?

Snap some pictures of your service project, and make sure to use the hashtag #Cincy200 when you post on social media! Don’t forget to search for the hashtag, too, so you can see what everyone else is doing. This is a story that we not only create together, but one that we collectively tell, as well.

THERE FOR YOU THEN, HERE FOR YOU NOW.

There is no denying that consecrated religious are fewer in number and older in years. What has not diminished is their mission, and the passion and love with which they serve. They can’t do it alone – but they never did! Even in their very beginning years, they came to the area to serve God by serving others, not by serving themselves. Lay people have always been necessary to the mission of these religious communities. They have always been there for us, and they need us, too.

SO, LET’S BE THERE FOR THEM, NOW.

Think of the October event as small group training. Get your family involved. Reach out to someone close. Come up with more ambitious plans and think of how you can get even more people involved. It’s time to think big! Gather your church groups, some friends or other families to take on a bigger project. At cincy200.com, you’ll find ways to collaborate with these religious communities to help magnify the blessings they share.

AND ON APRIL 17, YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Together, we will honor and continue this dazzling legacy that shines a welcoming light to those in need. We will ask ourselves how we can welcome the stranger, immigrants and others, in our neighborhoods, towns and cities. We’ll be here for one another now, just as we were then.

Please visit cincy200.com for fun ideas, inspiration, motivation, general information and more!

This article appeared in the September Edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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