From “Sister” to “Mister”: an Insider Perspective Exploring the Insights of Sister Administrators About the Transition of Healthcare Leadership from Women Religious to the Laity

Kelly, Mary, and Maureen Anthony

Personal interviews with 70 women religious, who were the last Sister administrators in the hospitals where they served, provide perspective on the carefully designed pathway to lay leadership in Catholic healthcare.  In this qualitative research study, Sisters now age 64-94 share their stories of their own initiation into health care management and their eventual recognition of the need for change in leadership of the ministry. These former Sister Administrators describe how the first lay leaders were identified and the emergence of the conviction that grounding the Catholic health ministry in formal systems would stabilize its future.  Their current ministries bear witness to their administrative talent and their unswerving commitment to Catholic health care