Ursuline Sister Michele Morek credits her mother for a lifetime of strongly supporting women.
“I was a little girl sitting on Santa’s lap and I told him I’d like an electric train for Christmas,” Sister Michele said. “He said, ‘Girls don’t play with trains. I’ll bring you a nice dolly.’ I looked at my mother and fire was coming from her eyes. I knew I would get my train. And I did.”
Sister Michele told that story to a Women’s History Month audience on March 10, 2019, at the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center in Owensboro, Ky. The event was sponsored by the Owensboro chapter of the American Association of University Women.
Sister Michele was a biology professor and academic dean at Brescia College/University in Owensboro from 1971-2004, then served as congregational leader of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph from 2004-2010. She then ministered for five years as coalition coordinator for UNANIMA International, a nongovernmental organization of the United Nations that focuses on women’s issues and clean water.
Since January 2017 she’s served as the North American Sister Liaison for the Global Sisters Report, an international organization headquartered in Kansas City that reports on news of Catholic sisters and the people they serve. She shared what she’s learned about women around the world in her ministries.
“Women and children do most of the work in the world, and are the most mistreated and least regarded,” Sister Michele said. “Girl children are the most at risk for infanticide and neglect. If you give a poor village toilets, girls will keep going to school after they get their periods. Otherwise they have no place sanitary.”
She talked about the work of Global Sisters Report and her experience last year with “Nuns on the Bus,” which traveled to 21 states with a goal to “educate, listen and learn.”
Here are some photos from her talk.