What: Women in Mission: Celebrating the Missionary Call of Women event

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 26. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

Where: School Sisters of St. Francis, 1501 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee

Register by Wednesday, March 15https://officeforworldmission.regfox.com/2023-women-in-mission. The event with food and refreshments is free; however, a suggested donation of $30 per person is appreciated to help support mission work.  A portion of the proceeds also will be donated to featured organizations.


Like many roles celebrated during Women’s History Month, missionary women of the past tended to be out of sight and out of mind.

This Women’s History Month, World Mission Ministries of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will host a vibrant celebration honoring the present-day missionary contributions of women from or working in southeastern Wisconsin.

“Women in Mission – Celebrating the Missionary Call of Women” will be held March 26.

“The Women in Mission Awards recognize unsung women and their efforts to spread the Good News of salvation. It is also part of our celebration of Women’s History Month and the contributions of women to the Church,” said Antoinette Mensah, Ph.D., director of World Mission Ministries.

Two women will receive awards at the event, which will include social time with food and refreshments, honoring those being awarded and hearing their stories, and learning about the missionary call of women in the Church.

“Our recipients for 2023 represent women with powerful stories of faith and commitment to working with the people on the margins,” Mensah said. “Responding to the need of a newly arrived immigrant or serving as an interpreter for a mission group, both women reflect the spirit of the mission.”

The two award winners are:

  • Idalia Nievas-Reyes, Director of Outreach Ministries at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, will receive the Bridge Builder Award inspired by Sr. Frances Cunningham, S.S.S.F., former director of World Mission Ministries, who will attend the event. Nieves-Reyes has been a member of St. John Paul II Parish since she moved to the area nine years ago.
  • Alice Thepouthay, S.C.S.J.A., Pastoral Associate for Lao Community and Faith Formation Coordinator at St. Michael and St. Rose Parishes, will receive the Being Present Award inspired by Sr. Rosemary Huddleston, O.P., who passed away in 2021. Sr. Alice has been a member of St. Michael for 39 years.

The work of religious communities and lay women-led organizations locally demonstrating one of Pope Francis’s five missiological principles — encounter, identification, accompaniment, solidarity and putting this into practice — also will be recognized.

World Mission Ministries is a separate organization charged with supporting the global missionary call on behalf of the Archdiocese.

Find out more about World Mission Ministries here: https://www.archmil.org/offices/world-mission.htm

Idalia Nievas-Reyes served as a translator during a 2017 mission trip to La Sagrada Familia, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s sister parish, in Azua, Dominican Republic. She has described this experience as like wearing new glasses that give someone different and better vision. (Submitted photo)

Sr. Alice Thepouthay, S.C.S.J.A.