Sister Anita Baird, a native of Chicago, IL, is a member of the Religious Congregation of the Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary having served as Regional Superior, Provincial Councilor, and most recently as United States Provincial.
She is a member of St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago where she has served in many different leadership roles including chair of the Spiritual Life Institute and as a member of the preaching staff.
In 1997 Sister Anita became the first African American to serve as Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of Chicago. In 2000, Cardinal Francis George appointed her the founding director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Racial Justice, which directed the Archdiocese’s initiatives to eradicate racism in its structures and institutions. Sister Anita also served as Cardinal George’s liaison for race relations to the city of Chicago.
Sister Anita has been recognized for her religious and community activism around the nation. In 2002 she gave the opening keynote address at the Ninth National Black Catholic Congress in Chicago. She is a past president of the National Black Sisters’ Conference and recipient of the organization’s Harriet Tubman “Moses of Her People” Award. Other honors include the NBC-5 Jefferson Award for outstanding community service, and the Fresh Spirit Award in recognition of her outstanding spiritual and community leadership in the city of Chicago.
In may 2013 Sister Anita was awarded an honorary Doctor of Minister (D. Min) degree from Catholic Theological Union in recognition of her outstanding contributions in the work for racial justice in the Church and the city of Chicago.
Sister Anita’s first love is preaching God’s Word, which she has done around the country for more than a decade. Her motto of faith is “Do whatever He tells you.” Sister Anita strives to live her life listening to God’s word, acting upon God’s word, and doing whatever God instructs her to do!
Sister Anita earned a B.A. in Sociology from DePaul University, and an M.A. in Theological Studies from Loyola University Chicago.
As disciples of Christ, it is our baptismal and Eucharistic responsibility to bring Jesus into the fullness of his glory by standing in solidarity with a sister or brother who is struggling to reclaim his or her human dignity, by working to chip away at the walls of division and hatred; and to bear witness in the breaking of the bread that at the banquet of the Lord there is no room for hatred or division.VIEW