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Black Sisters Testify: The Real Work of Belonging

Updated: Jan 17, 2023


Sr. Cora Marie Billings, RSM, has spent her life knowing the weight of being the “first” or the “only.” The first Black Sister to join her religious community and the first Black Sister to lead a U.S. parish, to name only two such distinctions, she is also a co-founder of the National Black Sisters’ Conference.


Living in Richmond since the early ’80s, Sr. Cora Marie has served as a campus minister at Virginia State, as head of the diocesan office of Black Catholics, and for 14 years as the pastoral coordinator of St. Elizabeth’s parish, where she still attends.


Sr. Cora Marie shared with NETWORK her reflections on what it means to be a Black Sisters serving in the U.S., with all of the history and cultural proclivities wrapped up in that.




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