Women’s history month is observed every March since 1987 in the United States. This annual event celebrates and applauds women's achievements and contributions marked in history, society, and in our hearts to recognize the pioneers and powerhouses they were and currently are.
Mother Teresa, known to many Catholics as Saint Teresa of Calcutta founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Catholic religious congregation in 1950 which managed homes for people dying from diseases, ran soup kitchens, clinics, orphanages, schools, and programs for the poor and today operates in over 133 countries.
Mother Teresa was notably recognized and remembered for her charitable work around the world:
1937 Mother Teresa took her solemn vows.
1950 Received Vatican permission to create the Missionaries of Charity which would provide care for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, and those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”
1962 Received The Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize.
1966 Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity was operating in over 100 countries and was composed of 517 missions with 450 Centers, serving the “poorest of the poor”. The first Missionaries of Charity in the United States was established right here in the South Bronx at St. Rita’s Convent in Mott Haven.
1969 Received The Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
1971 Received The Pope John XXIII Peace Award.
1979 Received The Nobel Peace Prize.
1990 Received The Bharat Ratna Award.
1997 Mother Teresa passed away on September 5th.
1997 The Catholic Church began the process of beatification.
2003 Mother Teresa was beatified.
The process of canonization requires two miracles
The first one occurred when a woman in India was healed after seeing a picture of Mother Teresa.
2015 The second miracle occurred when a man in Brazil was cured of multiple brain tumors as his wife prayed to Mother Teresa for many days in nights in hope of a miracle.
2016 Mother Teresa was canonized on her feast on September 5th.
Mother Teresa once stated that “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship. I am Indian. By faith. I am a Catholic Nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus”.
During this Holy Week in the Catholic Church, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, where Catholics remember the last week of Jesus’ life on earth, we thank and pray for Mother Teresa for her work while she was alive and offering compassion, service, and love to all while being a voice and visionary for those in need.
Florence Griffith Joyner, an American Track and Field Phenomenon, most famously known and remembered as “Flo-Jo”, set a world record in 1988 at the Seoul Olympics for the 100m world record of 10.49 seconds as well as for the 200m record of 21.34sec. Flo-Jo remains the fastest woman of all time. During the latter part of the 1980s, she became a popular figure in international track and field because of her speed, strength, world records, and her flashy personal style.
During her elementary years, Flo-Jo was a member of The Sugar Ray Robinson Organization, running in track meets on weekends. At the ages of 14 and 15, she won the Jesse Owens National Youth Games two years in a row.
At Jordan High School, she set records in both sprinting and long jump.
While attending California State University at Northridge, Flo-Jo was on the track team coached by Bob Kersee, and they won the national championship during her first year of college. But Flo-Jo had to drop out of school to take a job and support her family. But well known and liked, Coach Kersee found financial aid for Flo-Jo and in 1980 she was back in college, at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) where Coach Kersee was working.
In 1983, Flo-Jo graduated from UCLA with her bachelor’s degree in psychology.
In 1984 at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Flo-Jo went on to win a silver medal.
In 1988, at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Flo-Jo sprinted 100m in 10.49 seconds, a new world record. Over the two-day trials, Flo-Jo recorded the three fastest times for a woman at 100m 10.49 in the quarter-final, 10.70 in the semi-final, and 10.61 in the finals. Important to note, Flo-Jo also set an American record for the 200m distance with a time of 21.77 seconds.
In 1988 at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, Flo-Jo ran a 10.54 in the 100-meter final. She set a world record of 21.56 seconds In the 200-meter semifinal and then broke this very same record by winning the final with a time of 21.34 seconds. Flo-Jo also won medals while running in the 4 × 100m relay and the 4 × 400m relay teams. Her team won the 4 × 100 m relay and finished second in the 4 × 400 m relay.
- In 1995, USA Track & Field inducted Flo-Jo into its Hall of Fame.
- In 1998, Flo-Jo died unexpectedly of a seizure in her sleep, at the age of 38.
We thank Florence Griffith Joyner for being an inspiration to all especially women with athletic aspirations.
This week we recognize Marie Curie. Marie Curie, born in Poland and became a French citizen was a famous scientist, chemist, physicist, and the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, twice. Marie Curie was applauded for her discovery of radium and polonium, and her huge contribution to finding cancer treatments, specifically her work with radiation and fundamentally changing our understanding of radioactivity.
Marie Curie was known and referred to many as Madame Curie.
Madame Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and the only person to win it twice for two different areas of science, physics, and chemistry.
Curie was born in Warsaw, Russia in 1867.
Curie died at age 66 in 1934 from aplastic anemia from her exposure to radiation which she had spent her career researching.
In 1895, she married Pierre Curie, a fellow scientist and they were quite a team.
In 1906, Curie was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris.
In 1920 Curie founded the Curie Institute in Paris.
In 1932 Curie founded the Curie Institute in Warsaw:
In 1995 Curie became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in Paris' Panthéon.
In 2011 Poland and France declared their countries as the Year of Marie Curie during the International Year of Chemistry.
We thank Marie (Madame) Curie for her contributions to science and applaud her for her awards and recognitions and discoveries.
Sonia Maria Sotomayor is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. On May 26, 2009, Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama and has served since August 8, 2009.
Sotomayor was born in the Bronx and is the first Hispanic and Latina member of the Court. She was raised by her mother as her father passed away when she was in grammar school. A Catholic who grew up in a tenement in the South Bronx, eventually being raised in the Bronxdale Houses, in Soundview. She was educated at Blessed Sacrament Grammar School and then Cardinal Spellman High School graduated from Princeton University and received her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1979. She went on to work as an assistant district attorney in New York for four and a half years before entering private practice.
Sotomayor was recommended and nominated to:
We thank Sonia Sotomayor for being an inspiration to all and hope you will take this opportunity to research her achievements to learn more about this incredible pioneer during women’s history month!
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H. W. Bush in 1991;
She was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1997.
President Barack Obama nominated Sotomayor to the Supreme Court following the retirement of Justice David Souter in 2009.
Sotomayor has been applauded for calls for reform of the criminal justice system and making impassioned dissents on issues of race, gender, and ethnic identity.
On the first day of March, for women’s history month, we place our political affiliations aside as we are confident that Elizabeth Cody Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucretia Mott are smiling down on the newly elected Kamala Harris, an American politician and attorney now serving as the forty-ninth Vice President of the United States. She is the United States' first female Vice President and the first African American and the first Asian American Vice President and she serves as a role model for all women not only in the United States but for all women around the world.
Why is this a huge celebration? Reflecting well over a century ago The Women’s Rights Movement (1848-1917), women were fighting for women’s suffrage. This reform was led mainly by three dynamic women in history Elizabeth Cody Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony, who voiced their right for women to vote along with the economic and educational inequalities women faced amongst many other important issues. Their efforts became known as the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”