Educational training and hands-on therapy are tools to help returning child soldiers in northern Uganda rebuild their lives. One group of Sacred Heart of Jesus sisters adapted programs at Santa Monica school to accommodate the waves of female soldiers returning from the bush with children from Kony’s soldiers, incorporating therapy into vocational training, to equip the girls with tools for economic and emotional independence.
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See for Yourself - Having high-tech devices means that every now and then something will malfunction and the device needs to be taken for technical evaluation. The other day I experienced something unusual with my iPhone that I didn’t know how to troubleshoot, so I took it to an Apple store in the mall.
Three Stats and a Map - Thanksgiving is a loaded holiday – depending on who you are, the United States’ annual Turkey Day can illicit feelings ranging from blissful gratitude to indignation (reasons for the latter including the historical mistreatment of Native Americans and the current culture of overconsumption).
A year after Haiyan struck, the work of various foreign and local civic groups who jumped in to help continues. Aside from Catholic church agencies, an Israeli military team and an American Jewish group are among those providing assistance.
A decade ago, some Lovers of the Holy Cross of Nha Trang nuns noticed that over 30 graves were in bad condition at Dong Tien parish cemetery. The other tombs were decorated with incense, candles and flowers, as is customary in Vietnam to show respect for the dead. The nuns took it upon themselves to weed the grass and wild plants from those neglected graves. Their ministry inspired others to help rebury unmarked graves into proper tombs in the Catholic cemeteries.
Every sister has a unique vocation story, but Benedictine Sr. Heather Jean Foltz’s seems to take a more creative route: from the United Methodist Church to the Benedictines, with stops at an ecumenical religious community and a prison along the way.
GSR Today - NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby cheered last week’s news that President Obama would use executive action to begin immigration reform, noting it is something the group has pushed for years. But there is still a long way to go, said Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell, NETWORK’s executive director.
Reconciliation is complex in northern Uganda, where children were both victims and perpetrators of a decades-long civil war. Religious leaders are employing traditional ceremonies to try to bring closure. And as the children who had been "conscripted" into Kony's criminal army emerged from the bush and tried to come home, the scarred communities they left struggled to absorb them. Sr. Pauline Acayo, a Little Sister of Mary Immaculate of Gulu, was the director of Catholic Relief Services in northern Uganda for 14 years before moving to another post with CRS. She calls these children “returnees.”
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