Camille D’Arienzo is a Sister of Mercy of the Institute of the Americas, living in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. A product of public and parochial school education, she has ministered in Catholic elementary schools and public colleges, in the latter capacity both at the University of Michigan, from which she earned a doctorate in communications, and Brooklyn College from which she retired as Professor Emerita when elected as president of her community’s leadership team in 1993. Sister Camille served in the presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) from 1997-1999. Sister Camille is frequently asked to offer talks and retreats on the subject of The Challenge of Reconciliation in an Unforgiving World.
Camille’s experience with the New York media includes 39 years as a religion commentator for 1010 WINS Radio. Her preparation for this public role includes the influence of CBS broadcast commentator, Eric Sevareid, who was the subject of her doctoral dissertation at the University of Michigan.
She has co-authored a textbook on script writing and has published many hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. A bi-weekly columnist for The National Catholic Reporter, she has long interacted with media professionals, serving as consultant to journalists and broadcasters. Her public positions on matters of social justice have won her numerous awards, including two honorary doctorates, one from Misericordia College in Dallas, Pennsylvania, the other from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York.
Founder of the Cherish Life Circle, she is widely known for her efforts to end capital punishment and for the circulation of a Declaration of Life which allows individuals to affirm their opposition to the death penalty. On a Sunday in October the Cherish Life Circle holds an annual service for families and friends of murder victims.
Since 1998, she has served as spiritual adviser to David Paul Hammer, who is on death row in Terre Haute, Indiana. Each year she promotes cards he designs to raise money for children in need.