Nun Justice Project
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Nun Justice Project Timeline


LCWR issues statement in response to meeting with CDF


Cardinal Gerhard Müller issues critical statement in preparation for a meeting of the Superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with the Presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious


LCWR releases statement on the assembly and board meeting

8/13 – 8/16/13

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, as church-mandated overseer and Archbishop Carlo Vigano, apostolic nuncio attend the LCWR annual assembly


LCWR issues statement saying the meeting with Archbishop Müller was open and frank


Pope Francis reaffirms critique of LCWR and the plan for reform as they conduct their annual meeting with the CDF


Nun Justice YouTube video of nationwide vigils is uploaded


LCWR releases official statement


St. Louis Catholic Action Network for Social Justice (a CTA affiliate) organizes a heart felt welcome for LCWR members as attending opening and closing prayer events. Various members of NunJustic coalition provide media interviews during the assembly.


Official Nun Justice press release about the nationwide vigils in support of the LCWR Assembly in St. Louis


FutureChurch reports that over 100 of their 350 St. Mary of Magdala celebrations held in 2012 honor women religious


Planning focuses on support for the August LCWR Assembly in St. Louis


New prayer vigils developed – one for "sidewalk" and one for inside

Vigils asked to feature the song "We are Called" as theme song

"Sister City Vigils in Solidarity with LCWR" are held in over 40 cities

New talking points, press releases, vigil templates are developed for the website


As of this date, there have been 998 pledgers donating $88,350 - $35,245 donated for Pentecost and the remainder, $53,105, as a redirection from Peter's Pence

Total downloads of vigils/letters/talking points was 1,603 people


Sr. Pat Farrell is Terry Gross guest on NPR


Archbishop Levada is replaced as head of CDF by Bishop Muller


The Committee decides to expand the pledge to a redirection from the Peters Pence collection, traditionally taken on the last Sunday in June


Representatives of the Nun Justice coalition from WOC and CTA deliver the petition to the bishops in Atlanta, GA at the bishops' semi-annual meeting of the USCCB. The petition is accepted by Sr. MaryAnn Walsh. Scores of local Nun Justice supporters demonstrate outside the hotel.


LCWR leaders meet with Vatican representatives in Rome, to no effect or change


Nun Justice petition almost reaches 57,000 – the committee agrees to raise the limit


Franciscan Friars issue statement of support for LCWR. This will be followed by similar statement from other groups.


Sr. Margaret Farley censured by the CDF


LCWR statement released, asserting cooperation but not capitulation.

Nun Justice releases response of support, accompanied by major PR efforts. Laurie Goodstein article in NY Times mentions Nun Justice project and petition.


Throughout the month of May, vigils take place very Tuesday across the country. Campaign to direct or redirect funds on Pentecost


Call for major effort for vigils on May 29th, the eve of the LCWR leadership meeting – major push for publicity surrounding these vigils, too. About 100 public vigils are held in cities across the United States and some internationally. Many private prayer services and vigils are also held


The nationwide vigils begin. The website goes live, with links to the petition and tumblr site. Downloadable sample letters, talking points, sample press releases, and vigil prayer services are available.

The "Six Things to Do" are:

  1. Petition (sign the original petition on
  2. Write (sample letters provided to bishops, nuncio)
  3. Vigil (all reported vigils posted on the tumblr site)
  4. Share (send vigil photos to tumblr)
  5. Pledge (direct or redirect Pentecost Sunday contributions to nuns)
  6. Pray (sample prayer services available for download)

The Committee also publishes Talking Points and Press Releases. There is a concerted media campaign to raise awareness about the nationwide support for the nuns. Many news stories and interviews result.


It is decided to call for vigils on every Tuesday in May, leading up to LCWR's leadership meeting. A website,, is established with help from the FutureChurch webmaster and financial support from all coalition members.


The Nun Justice petition has 26,784 signatures


The Committee works on "Six Things" for people to do, beginning with developing sample letters to send to bishops and the nuncio and templates for prayer vigils


Members of the Committee began to correspond and hold conference call meetings. The tumblr site and petition continue to function and be visited.


COR(Catholic Organizations for Renewal) Meeting convenes in Washington, DC. Discussions ensue during the weekend about possible reactions to the decree and means of supporting the Sisters. Since several members had independently launched a petition on to support the sisters, using the name "Nun Justice", it was agreed to continue with that project and enlarge it. Thirteen COR organizations formed a coalition of support and six members agreed to serve as the steering committee: Kate Conmy, Erin Hanna, Sheila Peiffer, Chris Schenk, Nicole Sotelo and Gloria Ulterino. Patricia Russell later joined the committee.

The Coalition member organizations are: American Catholic Council, Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church, Call To Action, Catholics for Choice, CORPUS, DignityUSA, FutureChurch, New Ways Ministry, Quixote Center, RAPPORT, Voice of the Faithful, WATER, Women-Church Convergence, Women's Ordination Conference.


The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a mandate against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group that represents more than 80 percent of the 57,000 women religious in the US.


64,364 signatures when closed in August 2012.
1159 people pledged $100,328 to be donated to women's religious orders (of donor's choosing) from redirected or directed funds (as of 9/5/2012)
Over 40 held in early August to support the "Sister City" movement
Hundreds held during May, mostly on Tuesdays, to support the LCWR discernment
Hundreds of other vigils held from May through August
As of 9/5/12, nearly 2000 people have downloaded prayer services, sample letters, talking points, sample media releases and other resources from the site.