March 25, 2019

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland uplifts the stories of sisters

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland knows that Catholic sisters have long been at the forefront of identifying and serving unmet community needs. In 2015, the foundation launched Generative Spirit to grow the capacity of Catholic sisters and their ministries to develop the next generation of lay leaders. The foundation is committed to uplifting the stories of sisters throughout Northeast Ohio, recognizing their role in the social fabric and their unique way of being, ministering and leading.

In this story, the foundation highlights Sister Kate Hine, SND, who is working to discern how the Catholic Church can respond to young people who have made a choice to leave the Church, but still have a hunger for community, spirituality and service.

Sr. Kate Hine, SND: Supporting Young Adults to Seek Community Through Sisters

After 23 years in elementary education, Sr. Kathleen “Kate” Hine, of the Sisters of Notre Dame, finds hope and purpose in discerning how the Catholic Church can respond to young people who have made a thoughtful, conscious and intentional choice to leave the Church but still have a hunger for community, spirituality and service.

The 2018 report “Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics” inspired Sr. Kate with its summary of an in-depth and nuanced study in which young people shared, in their own words, reasons for leaving the Catholic Church. Sr. Kate recognizes that young adults have valuable knowledge and spiritual insights that could benefit the Church, and she is committed to hearing them. She is also committed to helping them develop the skills, relationships and spiritual foundation that will equip them to build the Church of the future.

A former teacher, Sr. Kate first answered the call to young adult and vocation ministry in 2002. In 2010 she became the director of Cuvilly House, a convent turned spiritual center for college students and young professionals on Cleveland’s east side. Since its closing in 2017 her service to young adults continues through the Coalition with Young Adults and the Generative Spirit Initiative Ministry Leadership Program, in addition to her work facilitating young adult faith retreats on behalf of the Sisters of Notre Dame. All of these programs have been directly shaped by listening to the young adults they are intended to serve. The common foundation for each of these transformative programs is the intergenerational relationships that develop between Catholic sisters and young spiritual seekers — based on an open invitation to those seeking a deeper meaning and purpose in their lives.

Reflecting on the mutual benefits of these connections, Sr. Kate provides support to Catholic sisters in their mentoring relationships and she is deeply encouraged by the way some of these relationships extend beyond the structured program setting and timeline. If spiritual formation and relationships are key to the sustainability of community-based ministry, then the goal is to equip the next generation of lay leaders with spiritual direction and a capacity for relationship building.

Sr. Kate has no shortage of hope for the future. In February 2019, the Ministry Leadership Program began a year-long process of professional development, leadership building and spiritual formation with an inaugural cohort of staff members from sister-led, sister-founded schools and colleges throughout Northeast Ohio. The year will culminate in a service project that will benefit each participant’s school community.

Her faith and excitement are contagious as she shares a vision for a Church that is humble enough to listen and learn from the next generation, while staying connected to the wisdom and faith traditions that have sustained women religious through decades of community-based ministry.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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