The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has released the latest episode of its podcast, Generative Spirits: Conversations with Catholic Sisters. In this two-part podcast, Sister Rita Mary Harwood, SND, reflects on more than 25 years working for the Diocese of Cleveland, where she initiated ministries to several historically marginalized groups, including the incarcerated, the LGBTQ community, migrant families and refugees.
In August, Sr. Rita Mary retired from the Diocese, where she had most recently led the Secretariat for Parish Life and Development. Sr. Rita Mary has supported multiple ministries, including chairing Church in the City in 1994 and leading the Welcoming the Stranger committee, a group of professionals committed to the rights and needs of migrants and refugees - known as "people on the move." She began her work at the Diocese in 1995, with responsibilities for the parishes of the eight-county diocese and the offices that are in service to those parishes, as well as all the lay organizations and ethnic ministries of the diocese.
After joining Bishop Pilla’s staff in 1995, Sr. Rita Mary set out to initiate several ministries within the Diocese. The Diocesan Ministry to the Incarcerated and their families, the Gay and Lesbian Family Ministry, the expansion of the ministry to the migrant community and development of the Asian and African Catholic Ministry are all facilitated by Sr. Rita Mary.
Sr. Rita Mary served as a teacher, administrator and supervisor of schools before joining the staff at the Diocese of Cleveland. Sr. Rita Mary was Major Superior of the Sisters of Notre Dame for nine years.
Generative Spirits: Conversations with Catholic Sisters is a Catholic Sister podcast that explores how members of Northeast Ohio congregations respond to the signs of the times in ways only sisters can - with personal insights and a collective knowledge of life and ministry over a century old. The podcast episodes take a look inside the lives of Catholic Sisters in a changing world.
The podcasts are made possible by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland (a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System) and are part of the foundation's Generative Spirit initiative.
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