With his opening tweets, the immensely popular Jesuit priest Rev. James Martin, SJ started his drive to remember how much Catholics (and non-Catholics) value the contributions of U.S. Catholic Nuns.
"Catholic sisters teach me what it means to persevere in ministry without the benefit of institutional power. #WhatSistersMeanToMe," he tweeted, following up with a second tweet asking, "How have Catholic sisters helped in your life?"
The drive is a response to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican orthodoxy watchdog group that is cracking down on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella organization for American nuns. The Vatican group warns that the nuns are promoting "certain radical feminist themes that are incompatible with the Catholic faith."
It may also be that the U.S. Bishops and the Vatican don't like the generally supportive positions that the nuns have taken on President Obama's healthcare reform, abortion and the contraception mandate.
Rev. Martin explained the Twitter effort in an email to The Huffington Post:
"Catholic sisters are my heroes. In light of the Vatican's desire to renew and reform their main organizing body, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, I thought it would be a great time to speak a word of support for Catholic sisters, and to acknowledge the hidden ways that these women have generously served God, served the poor and served this country."
The campaign has caught on. Below is just a sampling of the outpouring of support for The Sisters.