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Heritage Center

Heritage Center

So the stories of hundreds of women religious will be told well into the future, the Women’s Religious Archives Collaborative has launched a multi-million dollar campaign to support the building of a heritage center to open in Cleveland in Spring 2026. The center will be the nation’s first independent repository for Catholic Sisters’ archival collections. It will offer dynamic public programming, exhibitions, meeting space, and be an important place for research and remembrance.

In total, WRAC expects to meet the needs of more than 500 individual women religious who are members of 40 congregations today, giving them agency over telling their stories for future generations—honoring the past while also inspiring future generations to think, dream, and serve in response to the needs of their time.

Download a WRAC Heritage Center case for support or Donate to help preserve and celebrate the contributions of women religious, which have been impactful.

Congregations

The following congregations’ archives will be cared for in perpetuity by WRAC: 

Interested in becoming a WRAC congregation? 

Sisters’ Stories

American history cannot be told without recounting the inspired and faithful service of women religious. Across centuries and decades, their efforts—abundant with creativity, compassion, and courage—have changed countless lives. From their missions to open orphanages in war torn countries, to establishing and staffing hospitals in developing urban centers, to founding schools as teachers and administrators, to marching for civil rights, WRAC ensures these Catholic sisters’ legacies.  

Here are a few of their stories:

Dorothy Kazel OSU
Sisters' Stories

Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland

On October 3, 1979, shortly before El Salvador erupted in a bloody civil war that would last for twelve years, Sister Dorothy Kazel wrote the following to her friend and former missionary co-worker, Sister Martha Owen

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Sisters' Stories

Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine

Sometimes referred to as the “Angel of Alcoholics Anonymous,” Sr. Ignatia Gavin, CSA, was instrumental in helping thousands of individuals reach sobriety through her work with Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Sr. Lucia Perea as a young Sister of Loretto
Sisters' Stories

Sisters of Loretto

Four Sisters of Loretto arrived in Santa Fe from Kentucky in 1852. In January of the next year, they established Our Lady of Light Academy, the first school for young women in the Territory of New Mexico. Dolores Perea (Sr. Lucia Perea) was an early student of the Academy.

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Stay up to date on all of WRAC’s news and updates by subscribing to the monthly newsletter.