Sister Carol Ann Petersen: Innovator and leader

Sister Carol Ann PetersenA Benedictine sister whose life journey has taken her from Ashkum, Ill., to Atchison, Kan., is celebrating 50 years of monastic life this month.

Sister Carol Ann Petersen grew up in Ashkum, Ill., where she attended Ashkum Grade School and Central High School in Clifton. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Benedictine College-Mount St. Scholastica and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska.

Sister Carol Ann is the founding director of the Keeler Women’s Center, a ministry in Kansas City, Kansas, that empowers women in the urban core through education, advocacy, personal growth and spiritual growth. She has held the post since 2003. 

Sister Carol Ann Petersen“The Keeler Women’s Center is a widely recognized place of service to those needing comfort, material assistance, counseling, practical skills and spiritual nourishment,” said Sister Anne Shepard, prioress. “Sister Carol Ann’s passion is to empower women to become the strong people God wants them to be.”

Prior to establishing the Keeler Women’s Center, Sister Carol Ann was the associate superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph from 1994-2003. She was a principal and taught at Catholic schools in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.

The Kansas City Chapters of Zonta International recognized Sister Carol Ann as a Woman of Achievement in January 2011, and she received the Jewish Vocational Services Community Partnership Award for service to the community in November 2012.