For more than 50 years, Sister Catherine Ferguson has been serving as a Holy Names Sister throughout the world. During her career, Sister Catherine, who has served in SNJM leadership, also taught high school in both Oregon and Washington, researched Christian base communities in Latin America, received her doctoral degree in International Studies and founded and coordinated UNANIMA International, an NGO doing advocacy at the United Nations.
This spring, Sister Catherine will take on a new role as a board member of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby. NETWORK’s mission is to transform social and economic inequalities in the U.S. by working for just wages, quality healthcare, protecting the rights of immigrants and assuring affordable housing for all. NETWORK’s mission is grounded in Scripture, Catholic social teaching and lived realities. It seeks justice by advocating for federal policies consistent with Gospel values.
Sister Catherine and other NETWORK board members will serve on both the NETWORK advocacy board and NETWORK lobby board starting in April. In this capacity the board members ensure that NETWORK fulfills its mission and maintains a sustainable organization.
In explaining her desire to serve on the NETWORK board, Sister Catherine said, “I am excited to be connected firsthand with NETWORK and its creative and effective work of advocacy at the federal level. Remember its NUNS ON THE BUS campaign? It is so important that we ordinary citizens tell our elected representatives what we want of our government and assure that its policies and actions are truly for the common good and not just for the good of those who are wealthy. I have always wanted to be involved in advocacy at the national level.”
With her many years of experience working as an advocate on the international level, Sister Catherine is ready for the new opportunity to advocate domestically. “Right now I think NETWORK will be advocating especially for immigrants,” she said. She also identified other important issues such as affordable healthcare, creation of jobs and the development of a federal budget which responds to the needs of the country and fulfills our obligations to the international community.
Sister Catherine’s interest in advocacy is driven by the core Gospel values that motivate all Sisters of the Holy Names in their prayer and ministry. These values are succinctly expressed in the command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
More information about NETWORK can be found at https://networklobby.org.