Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2012 Volume 8 :: Article 2
2012 Volume 8, Article 2
Women Religious in a Changing Urban Landscape: The Work of Catholic Sisters in Metropolitan Cleveland

Author: Robert L. Fischer (Case Western Reserve University) and Jennifer Bartholomew (Case Western Reserve University)

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ABSTRACT

In many communities, women religious play a vital role in addressing the needs of the poor, neglected, and vulnerable members of society. Catholic Sisters have long been active in the areas of education, health care, outreach, and advocacy in northeast Ohio. In high-poverty urban areas such as Cleveland, women religious continue to provide essential services, support, and spiritual guidance. The experience in Cleveland is relevant to other cities where the population has shifted from an urban center to suburban areas, leaving inner-city churches with declining membership and support. Survey data collected from 164 Catholic Sisters from fifteen religious orders in Cleveland and the surrounding area illuminate the characteristics of Sisters’ ministries and suggest ways in which proactive and collaborative efforts can enhance the provision of services now and in the future.

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