Communicators for Women Religious this year celebrates its 25th anniversary and will commemorate a quarter century of working to advance the mission of Catholic Sisters throughout 2019, culminating with CWR’s annual conference in October.

CWR was founded as the National Communicators Network for Women Religious in November 1994 and adopted its current name in 2013 in response to the organization’s growth internationally.

“CWR has made great strides over the past two-plus decades. What started as a meeting of six Sisters in 1994 has now grown to serve a membership of over 205 persons, representing 142 women religious communities and 22 affiliated organizations,” said CWR Board Chair Kathy Gatliff. “Through a number of collaborative projects with groups such as the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the International Union of Superiors General, the National Catholic Development Conference and the National Catholic Vocation Conference—to name a few—CWR and our members can put our expertise at the service of a greater number of Sisters and ministries. With a formal office established just over three years ago, we are now fully staffed and poised for growth. Opportunities exist to support communicators in other countries, as evidenced by the formation of the CWR: Ireland regional group. This is an exciting time not only to serve our membership base, but also to share our gifts with the larger community of women religious around the world!”

CWR will share the celebration of its anniversary through a social media campaign that will be highlighted by milestones, memories, testimonials and congratulatory messages. In addition, the social media campaign will see CWR distribute “Join the Celebration” 25th anniversary placards to its members, friends and supporters across the globe. Placard recipients are encouraged to post photos of themselves holding their placards in whatever locale they might find themselves along with the hashtag #CWR25.

The 25th anniversary social media campaign launches today—the 25th day of the month—and will continue for the rest of year. CWR can be found on Twitter at, on Facebook at and on Instagram at

A special twenty-fifth anniversary logo has also been introduced. The anniversary logo combines silver text with the standard blue and berry CWR logo in both full and simplified variations.

CWR’s 25th anniversary conference will be held October 1-4 in Mesa, Arizona. Since CWR’s founding in 1994, the annual conference has drawn communicators from around the globe to share ideas, spread awareness of emerging communication trends and support one another in the ministry of communication.

“I attended the first conference, witnessed the establishment of NCNWR and became a charter member,” said Sister Beth Kress, PBVM, the communication specialist for the Sisters of the Presentation of Dubuque, Iowa. “At that time, many communicators for Sisters were Sisters themselves who either had degrees in journalism or related fields or who learned on the job. As the organization grew, the work of telling the story of Catholic Sisters sharpened and expanded and our congregations have benefitted. More CWR members who came from professional media, public relations and marketing have brought expertise and enriched our networking. Growth in membership now includes international members and those in associated ministries. We are collaborators and members of a vibrant CWR!”

At this year’s conference, CWR members and collaborators will welcome Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B., an internationally known speaker and writer on spirituality and social justice who will deliver the event’s keynote address. Further information on the conference can be found at