WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, based at Georgetown University in Washington, has received a $240,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to enable CARA to pursue five separate projects on women religious that will help public understanding of Catholic sisters and their ministries.

Two of the projects have an international dimension. One will examine the impact of international sisters studying at Catholic colleges and universities in the United States; how they contribute to the Catholic identity and mission of the U.S. schools; and how their education contributes to their ministry back home. In the other, one sister from Africa will come to CARA for six months as a visiting scholar to learn and experience applied research in the church. This three-year program, in partnership with the African Sisters Education Collaborative, will fund one sister per year.

CARA also will do an annual special report on women’s religious life and ministry, globally and nationally. The report will be issued for three consecutive years.

The grant also will help fund a CARA study on emerging religious institutes in the United States, comparing the new findings with those from a study a decade back. It also will provide funds for CARA’s annual “Class Of” surveys sent to all women and men entering U.S. religious institutes each year, providing both a snapshot and trend data on who is entering religious life today.

“With the foundation’s continued support we will be able to research the impact of sisters as well as work with sisters from Africa on applied religious research,” said a statement by Jesuit Father Thomas Gaunt, CARA’s executive director.