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Press Release – Catholic Sisters’ Heritage Center to be Built in Cleveland

Will preserve the legacies of thousands of Sisters.

Cleveland, Ohio, March 11, 2024. Catholic Sisters Week:

The Women Religious Archives Collaborative (WRAC) will establish a Heritage Center in Cleveland, Ohio, that will preserve and celebrate the unique histories and contributions of more than 35 congregations of Catholic Sisters. The 30,000-square foot facility will be constructed on a 1.5-acre parcel of land at 2490 E 22nd Street in the city’s historic Central neighborhood. WRAC purchased the property from St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine have maintained a ministry presence in this area since 1865.

“As members of Catholic Sisters’ congregations grow older and decline in number, hundreds of years of their histories are at risk of being lost,” said Sister Susan Durkin, Executive Director of WRAC. “These women and their forbearers have made immeasurable contributions to our communities and our nation, as leaders in spiritual formation, education, health care, social service, and justice efforts. The need to preserve their archival collections and the histories they represent for future generations has become increasingly urgent.”

WRAC, a nonprofit organization launched in 2022 after five years of planning, is a Catholic Sisters-led effort in the United States committed to such an undertaking to ensure the preservation of sisters’ legacies. The facility will be the nation’s first independent heritage center for women religious. To date, WRAC has secured archival and financial commitments from more than 35 congregations. A capital campaign to support construction is underway to generate additional funding for the project.

The WRAC Heritage Center plans to open in 2025. Working with Bostwick Design Partners and Regency Construction, the facility will be a dynamic space that will be open to the public for research and programming, both in person and virtually. In addition to being a vibrant local presence, its central location and website presence will facilitate visits from scholars, researchers, and genealogists throughout the country.

This joint undertaking will honor the past accomplishments of women religious while also inspiring future generations to think, dream, and serve in response to the needs and challenges of their time.

Women Religious Archives Collaborative, 2475 E. 22nd Street, Cleveland, OH 44115, 216-287-5176


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