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1/1/17

Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati to Participate in “Sister To All” Campaign

Following a recent market research study, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced results showing that Catholic Sisters, while highly respected, remain a mystery to most Americans. The survey revealed that Catholic Sisters are trusted by a significant majority of Americans (73 percent), and even more said their work is important (83 percent). However, the research also showed that perceptions of Catholic Sisters are somewhat dated, shaped primarily by fictional stories and the media versus interpersonal encounters. For example, 42 percent of respondents indicated the majority of Catholic Sisters today wear habits, 21 percent believe they live in seclusion, and 37 percent thought their work has little or no impact on non-Catholics.  

In reality, although some Catholic Sisters wear habits and some live in cloistered communities, most Catholic Sisters in the U.S. wear simple modern clothing and most are out in the world helping marginalized communities, advocating for social justice, and educating millions of young people and adults.  

The Hilton Foundation commissioned the market research study in 2015 to better understand how the U.S. public currently perceives women religious. It showed that a strong majority of Americans (72 percent) and Catholics (87 percent) view Catholic Sisters favorably, more so than the Catholic Church overall. Furthermore, learning about Catholic Sisters has a “halo effect:” when respondents were given more information about Catholic Sisters, perceptions of Sisters, the Catholic Church, and priests all increased.   

In response to the results of the survey, the Foundation launched a “Sister To All” public awareness campaign to increase visibility and public understanding of the powerful work of Catholic Sisters in the United States.

Throughout 2017, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati will be participating in the “Sister To All” campaign by providing key research data findings of the Hilton Foundation, along with profiles of featured Sisters on the SC website and social media. The campaign honors the lives and works of Catholic Sisters.

“‘Sister to All’ gives us an opportunity to reveal the positive impact of Catholic Sisters in the United States, breaking stereotypes and clarifying misconceptions,” said Sister Rosemarie Nassif, SSND, Ph.D., director, Catholic Sisters Strategic Initiative at the Hilton Foundation. “Conrad Hilton realized that wherever good things are happening for the marginalized and disadvantaged, there are likely to be Sisters not just involved, but making a tremendous positive difference. We hope all who see this campaign will be encouraged to learn more and help us further promote the lives and works of Sisters.” 

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering.