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Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Approves New Catholic Sisters Strategy


The board of directors of the Conrad
N. Hilton Foundation
announced today that it approved a new
five-year strategy for the Catholic Sisters Strategic Initiative. This
new strategy highlights how sisters, through their presence and focus on
human development work, can bear prophetic witness through vocation.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe assists students at St. Monica's Vocational School in Gulu, Uganda, a schoo ...

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe assists students at St. Monica's Vocational School in Gulu, Uganda, a school established to provide practical skills to restore dignity, independence and hope to formerly abducted women. (Photo: Business Wire)

During the first phase of the Hilton Foundation's Catholic Sisters
Strategic Initiative (2013-2018), the Foundation invested $105 million,
the largest of all of the Foundation's strategic initiatives. Conrad N.
Hilton's will specified that he wished to "give aid to… the Sisters, who
devote their love and life's work for the good of mankind, for they
appeal especially to me as deserving help from the Foundation… It is my
wish… to have the largest part of your benefactions dedicated to the
Sisters in all parts of the world."

The first phase focused on building the internal capacity of Catholic
sisters' congregations to improve membership, leadership and resource
outcomes. Over the past five years, the team has achieved a number of
successes, including a significant increase in the number of sisters
with post-secondary credentials, who are now prepared to take on
expanded ministry and leadership roles, and the beginning of a "Global

The vision for the next phase is for Catholic sisters to become global
leaders in the provision of sustainable human development services,
while remaining grounded in the vitality of their spiritual witness.
With ministries at the heart of human development efforts and with a
commitment to serve people from all walks of life and religious beliefs,
Catholic sisters are uniquely positioned to be recognized as among the
most trusted and effective leaders in meeting the global promise to end
poverty by 2030 and beyond - a component of the UN Sustainable
Development Goals. The new strategy seeks to achieve this by investing
in four intersecting portfolios:

  • Sisters' Education: Increase the financial and human resources
    capacity needed to sustain congregations of sisters, their services
    and the organizations they are serving.
  • Human Development Services: Expand services to disadvantaged
    and vulnerable youth and young adults aged 15-25 and their families.
    Areas of focus include: education, food security, health care, human
    trafficking and youth entrepreneurship.
  • Knowledge: Research, gather, apply and disseminate information
    to improve practices of congregations and leadership conferences,
    expand and improve the quality of human development services, and
    increase collaborative partnerships.
  • Innovation: Create sustainable solutions to challenges to the
    vitality of sisters' organizations and the sustainability of their
    human development services.

"This new phase will not only build upon key learnings and
accomplishments from the first phase, but will also be mindful of the
changing landscape for Catholic faith," said Sister Jane Wakahiu,
director of the Catholic sisters program of the Hilton Foundation. "The
Foundation recognizes Catholic sisters are well-positioned to be vital
actors and front-line workers to make significant, positive change for
people and our planet."

"We are delighted that the board of directors has approved the next
phase of our Catholic Sisters Strategic Initiative," said Peter
Laugharn, president and CEO of the Hilton Foundation. "We have been
committed to improving the lives and ministries of Catholic sisters
since our inception. In this next phase, we will continue to carry out
the wishes of our founder by ensuring sisters can build vitality and
enable critical services to reach disadvantaged and vulnerable people."

To learn more about the Catholic Sisters Strategic Initiative, visit

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international
business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left
his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The
Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority
areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing
substance use, helping young children affected by HIV and AIDS,
supporting transition age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad
Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition,
following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation
annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a
nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human
suffering. In 2018, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize will be presented to
SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities), a grassroots organization based
in Nairobi, Kenya that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban
slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy
platforms, and education and leadership development for women and girls.
From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.6 billion in
grants, distributing $114.9 million in the U.S. and around the world in
2017. The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2.8 billion.
For more information, please visit

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