Building a global sisterhood to advance human development.

Catholic sisters contribute to human development through their spiritual witness and service to those in need. More than 700,000 sisters around the world educate our children, care for the vulnerable, stand with the oppressed, promote peace, and advocate for justice. Like our founder, Conrad N. Hilton, we recognize sisters as resourceful, efficient, and powerful agents of social change.


Enhanced vitality of congregations throughout the world, enabling Sisters to advance human development more widely and effectively.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will support programs that develop three capacities essential to the on-going vitality of congregations.

Membership: attract, form, educate, and retain members

Leadership: exercise leadership effectively and develop new leaders

Resources: attract and steward resources (not only physical and financial capital, but also knowledge and social capital)

These capacities, found in all congregations in varying degrees, are interrelated: strong capacity in one area is predictive of strength in others, while weak capacity in any area is predictive of weakness in others. In the Global North, for example, membership in most congregations has been declining for decades, and this has contributed to decreased revenues and a small pool of potential leaders. In the Global South, vocations are more plentiful; however, many congregations lack the resources to prepare their members adequately for effective ministry and leadership.


The Foundation’s strategy is global in scope; however, it will be implemented in phases, with initial emphasis on Africa and the United States—places where the Foundation can build upon existing relationships. The Foundation is actively assessing needs and identifying promising partners in Europe, Latin America, and Asia.


Catholic Sisters Foundation Strategy

February 15, 2013

Full Report (PDF 373 KB)

Our Partner: Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters

The Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters, established in 1986, supports the ministries of Sisters worldwide in the areas of education, the environment, health care, and social services with grants averaging $10,000. It is an independent organization from the Hilton Foundation. For more information regarding the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters, please visit their website.

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