Listen to Sister Teresa Kotturan’s presentation “Leave No One Behind—A Call to Preferential Option for the Poor through Sustainable Development Goals.” A representative for the Sisters of Charity Federation Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations, Sister Teresa challenged her audience of students, staff, and faculty at Seton Hill University to explore the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through Catholic Social Teaching, inclusive of Laudato Si’! and human rights. The program is part of the Sister Mary Schmidt, SC, Lecture Series, a joint project of the Sisters of Charity and the University. This annual lecture is free and open to the public.
Sister Teresa Kotturan, a member of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, serves as the main representative for the Sisters of Charity Federation Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations (UN). In this role, Sister Teresa’s primary objective is to take to the global stage of the UN, the concerns of the 3,400 members of the Charity Federation and all those with whom and to whom they minister in 28 countries. She works closely with other NGO representatives and multiple committees to address political, economic, social, and humanitarian policies. Having lived and ministered in many areas of the global south, Sister Teresa brings a concrete understanding of the realities confronting those who live in poverty. She is committed to raising awareness of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people live in peace and prosperity.
Prior to accepting her position at the UN, Sister Teresa was vice president of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Congregation. While a vice president, she collaborated as an NGO Liaison for five years and presented systemic change and UN initiatives to congregational membership and collaborators for implementation. She has also served as the provincial superior of India and Nepal where she lived amidst people who have faced poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, and denial of basic human rights, especially for the women and girl children. “I have seen and been a part of the issues the developed world is facing,” reflects Sister Teresa.
Sister Teresa works to ensure that the voices of women religious and those they serve are heard. A gifted communicator, Sister strives to raise awareness through multimedia presentations, social media postings, newsletters, and issue alerts, about pressing global concerns that include poverty, lack of access to education, human trafficking, international law, global citizenship, migration, inter-religious dialogue, social development, financing for development and environmental sustainability. “We cannot right all the wrongs in this world; we can attempt to do a little at a time,” explains Sister Teresa. “The Charity Federation UN–NGO Representative position offers that opportunity, to engage a wide range of people – within the Federation, the Vincentian Family, and beyond – to make a difference, create a web of relationships, and harmony.”
The Sister Mary Schmidt Lecture Series is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill and Seton Hill University in order to support the Catholic identity of Seton Hill University; engage the Sisters of Charity and Seton Hill University in learning and dialogue on timely topics of social and environmental justice with global impact; and develop an understanding of Catholic Social Teachings and how they pertain to this dialogue.
Sister Mary Schmidt, SC, served as president of Seton Hill from 1971 through 1977. She also taught in the English Department at the University for more than 20 years and served as executive vice president and the director of Alumnae Relations.
Seton Hill University, Greensburg, is a leading Catholic coeducational liberal arts university founded by the Sisters of Charity and embracing students of all faiths. Seton Hill offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the Natural and Health Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, Business, Education and Applied Social Sciences and Humanities and is committed to educating its more than 2,200 students to “think and act critically, creatively and ethically as productive members of society committed to transforming the world.” As a national leader in incorporating mobile technologies into teaching and learning, Seton Hill also supplies graduates with the skills they need to adapt to whatever careers they choose. For more information on Seton Hill’s academic programs and technology initiatives, please visit www.setonhill.edu or call 1-800-826-6234.