‘Women & Spirit’ exhibit tells story of building community in California

TEMECULA – Featuring detailed narratives about women from just after the Gold Rush, “Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in California” is now at Temecula Valley Museum until April 6.

The traveling exhibition explores the impact Catholic sisters made on the formation of church and society in California. It tells the story of groups of strong women who worked to build communities on the edge of the frontier by providing care and services to others, actively participating in the fight for social justice and creating inspired art based on these struggles.

“Women & Spirit” features photos, videos, creative artwork and a rich selection of historical artifacts, most of which have never been seen by the general public. These elements tell the story of the sisters’ attempt to provide social stability during California’s chaotic founding years in the wake of the Gold Rush by creating a “safety net” – childcare centers, hospitals, schools, orphanages, homes for the elderly and working girls, and countless other institutions of charity.

On top of this, the exhibition explains the sisters were not content to stop at salving social wounds – they also worked to correct the source of these ills by participating in the struggle for social justice, and continue to do so today with widespread partnerships and collaborations.

“Women & Spirit” is a traveling exhibition originated by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Region 14, currently sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Family and toured by Exhibit Envoy.

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