Catholic Sisters: ‘Get in the Habit’ of kindness

by Jessi Russo: press release

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley launched a new campaign in March 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 was shared on billboards, in movie theater and TV ads, through social media posts and in Catholic school classrooms.

“We want to call attention to what we should be doing for each other,” said Sister Toni Harris, OP, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. “We are to be feeding the hungry and welcoming the stranger. We are to be practicing compassion, as Jesus taught us. Simple acts of kindness can change the world, one person at a time. We need these actions right now especially.”

The campaign includes billboards displayed in six communities, from the Quad Cities to La Crosse, WI, including three locations in Dubuque and one in Kieler, WI. The billboards feature an image of a homeless person being handed a cup of coffee. The accompanying text says, “Kindness: Get in the Habit.”

Six similar images – all illustrating the kindness theme – were featured both on social media sites and on the big screen–including Dubuque’s Mindframe and AMC movie theaters.

“Those of us in the U.S. sometimes take water, food, shelter, clothing and respect for granted,” said Sister Teri Hadro, BVM, President of the Sisters of Charity, BVM.  “Our sisters and brothers in need help us understand the real meaning of the Gospel and gift us with the opportunity to live Jesus’ message today and every day.”

The campaign ran during the fourth annual National Catholic Sisters Week, March 8-14, 2017.

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 sent, as Jesus was sent, to do good works and meet the needs of the times. They are the Sisters of St. Francis-Clinton, Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary-Dubuque, Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery-Rock Island, Sisters of Mercy-West Midwest Community, Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Sisters of St. Francis-Dubuque, Sisters of the Visitation, Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey and the Carmelite Nuns. Find them on Facebook at

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