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Sister Mary Ellen Leciejewski, OP
Sister Mary Ellen is the Director of Ecology for Dignity Health, the largest hospital system in California and the fifth largest in the nation. Based in San Francisco, Dignity Health has facilities in seventeen states.
Among many other recent efforts, Sister Mary Ellen served on the eco-team that helped create the hospitals’ ecology/sustainability program, developed tools to measure the system’s waste stream, developed a chemical reduction program, and established a hospital vegetable garden. Dignity Health recently became the first health care system in the country to switch to dye-free plastics, considerably reducing its environmental impact.
Sister Barbara Cervenka, OP
Sister Barbara Cervenka is a painter, primarily in watercolor, whose work has been exhibited around the country and abroad. For the past thirty years she has taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and at Siena Heights University in Adrian.
She co-founded Con/Vida, a non-profit organization that helps foster cultural understanding through promoting the popular arts of Peru and Brazil.
As a member of the History Committee for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, she helped organize the traveling exhibit “Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America.”
Sister Joan Delaplane, OP
Sister Joan Delaplane is Professor Emerita of Homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, where she was on the faculty for some twenty-five years. In 2001, she received the school’s Great Preacher Award for the ways her words and actions had made an outstanding contribution to the building-up of the Catholic community.
She was honored in 2013 by having The Delaplane Initiative for Preaching Excellence at Aquinas endowed and named for her. Among other things, the $500,000 grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., will help the initiative strengthen preaching among Catholic clergy at all levels.
Today, Sister Joan is a spiritual director and retreat leader.