(Catholic News Agency photo / Courtesy Catholic Charities USA)

Monday is #NUNDAY! Meet Sister Donna Markham, OP! In January 2015 Sister Donna was elected the next president of Catholic Charities, USA. She is the first woman to head the organization in its 105-year existence.

Sister Donna is deeply committed to caring for the common good, which is one of the many reasons why she's a perfect match for Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities is at the forefront of the church's mission for social change, serving over 9 million people annually, and employing over 70,000 people. Upon her election Sister Donna stated:

“There can be no greater call than to serve and advocate on behalf of persons who struggle to get by in a world where they are all-too-frequently relegated to the margins of society and where they long for dignity, hope and compassion.” (source: Catholic News Agency)

Over the years, Sister Donna has shown a commitment to faithful leadership. She'll be leaving her position in June where she serves as president of the Behavioral Health Institute for Mercy Health in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has also served as president of the Southdown Institute, Ontario, Canada; president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious; and prioress of her religious community, the Adrian Dominican Sisters in Adrian, Michigan.

With decades of experience and a desire to live the gospel call, Sister Donna is indeed an inspiration! In a 2008 interview with Sister Anne Lythgoe, OP, Sister Donna was asked about what makes someone a good leader. She replied,

"... the ability to think beyond what has been and look toward what might be ... Seeing the goodness in the membership of the group and calling people to hope and to a deep belief in what can be accomplished together are qualities that lurk in the hearts of excellent leaders!" (source: Dominican Life | USA)

What I love about Sister Donna is how she can combine such strong leadership skills with the compassion and drive that is truly at the heart of sisters and nuns. I look forward to watching her guide Catholic Charities into the future!

You too can join the #NUNDAY movement! Send us a story and picture of a sister or nun who has influenced your life, and we'll feature her here! Message us on FacebookTwitter, or use the contact form on the website. (Note: using the contact form will not allow you to send a photo. We will respond with next steps on how to include the photo.)

Check out all the Catholic sisters and nuns featured on our #Nunday blog!