Divisiveness spurs sisters’ kindness campaign


For The Catholic Messenger

The Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley will launch a new campaign this month to encourage people to be kind toward one another. The message — “Kindness: Get in the Habit” — was created to counter the continued divisiveness seen throughout the country. It will be shared on billboards, in movie theater ads, through social media posts and in Catholic school classrooms.
“The Kindness campaign is inspired by our Christian call to treat one another as we would hope to be treated,” said Sister Sandra Brunenn, OSB, prioress of St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island, Ill. “It’s both a response to the incivility that continues to permeate talk shows and social media, and a call to Gospel values such as caring for the poor.”

Sister Johanna Rickl, president of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in Davenport, adds, “In a world where exclusion and violence increase, it is essential that hospitality, compassion and kindness be nurtured with ever greater commitment.”

Sister Janice Cebula, president of the Clinton Franciscans, agrees. “As we work to change policies, we can also make a difference one person at a time. We have the ability to make strides daily in small ways.”


The full campaign will run during the fourth annual National Catholic Sisters Week, March 8-14. Movie ads and billboards will run throughout the entire month.

Campaign Details

• Billboards — The campaign includes billboards to be displayed in six communities, from the Quad Cities and Clinton to LaCrosse, Wis. It features an image of a homeless person being handed a cup of coffee. The accompanying text says, “Kindness: Get in the Habit.”

In the Quad-Cities, the billboards will be on display at: 502 E. 4th St., Davenport; 4800 Welcome Way, Davenport; 53rd Street east of Carey, Davenport; and 3820 State St., Bettendorf.

Clinton billboards will be displayed on Camanche Avenue south of 24th Place, US. 67 south of U.S. 30, and 2nd St., north of 20th Avenue North.

• Social media — Six similar images — all illustrating the Kindness theme — will be featured on social media sites and on the big screen in local movie theaters in Moline, Ill., Davenport and Clinton, Iowa.

• Movie theater event — A Kindness welcome will be held March 4 in the lobby of Rave Cinemas Davenport 53 + IMAX Theater, 3601 E. 53rd St., Davenport. Catholic sisters will welcome movie patrons from noon to 6:30 p.m. at the movie theater’s west entrance. A Kindness table will include a prayer request box, into which patrons can slip their own prayer requests. The sisters will also give away Kindness mints and Kindness prayer cards.

• Catholic school curriculum — Gospel-based kindness meditations have been shared throughout area Catholic schools. The preschool-12th grade curriculum includes daily prayers and assignments.

Sponsoring communities of Catholic sisters

The Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley represent 12 congregations whose collective mission is to spread the Gospel message in the 21st century. They are the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery, Rock Island, Ill.; Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Davenport; Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton; Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dubuque, Iowa; Sinsinawa Dominicans, Sinsinawa, Wis.; Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dubuque; Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, LaCrosse, Wis.; Sisters of Mercy-West Midwest Community; Sisters of St. Francis, Dubuque; Sisters of the Visitation, Dubuque; Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, Dubuque; and the Carmelite Sisters, Eldridge.

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