Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Standup Sisters' Tell the Stories of Their Calling Nuns to Discuss Their 2 Centuries of Service

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Standup Sisters' Tell the Stories of Their Calling Nuns to Discuss Their 2 Centuries of Service

Article excerpt

One by one, four Roman Catholic religious sisters recently stood in an unfamiliar place - at the center of attention.

They were running through a rehearsal in the echoing sanctuary of St. Sylvester Church in Brentwood Monday. Combined, they have more than two centuries of service to the church and the world, and they distilled that experience into about 20 minutes of storytelling - how they entered religious life, what they did in service to students, the elderly and the homeless and what it all means.

The four, members of the Greensburg-based Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, will be delivering their monologues at 6:30 p.m. Monday before an audience of parishioners, St. Sylvester School pupils and others.

The free program is called "Standup Sisters," produced by radio journalist Jennifer Szweda Jordan of Scott. It's modeled on such public-radio programs as "The Moth Radio Hour" and "TED Radio Hour" - bare-bones productions in which speakers get a microphone and a few minutes to tell a vital story.

Ms. Jordan invited the sisters to participate, and while many demurred, a few stepped forward.

"We rarely toot our own horns," said Sister Barbara Einloth of Greensburg. "That might be a good thing and humble, but it doesn't help people know who we are and what we do. This is an opportunity for people to get to know who we are."

Ms. Jordan, who has gotten to know the sisters in several settings since attending Seton-La Salle High School in Mt. Lebanon, said she hoped the audience members would be inspired to a life of service in some format. "While some girls may walk away from this event inspired to become a sister, perhaps others in the audience will be inspired to start a garden, or to reach out to a refugee family," she said.

The program received a boost from a grant from the sponsoring organization for National Catholic Sisters Week, which concludes Monday.

Jane Strittmatter, director of public relations for the sisters, also will talk, recalling how the nuns helped sponsor her four young daughters' musical performances, which eventually blossomed into careers in the music field for each of them. …

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