The Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul work closely with the numerous ethnic groups in the Daklak province of central Vietnam. To do this, they walk a tightrope of diplomacy with the government, which exercises strict control over the province for fear that “reactionary forces abroad incite ethnic groups to fight against the government.” The community of eight nuns in their 30s and 40s carry on the work with ethnic groups, which their order has done since the 1950s.
The biography Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith by Tom Roberts was released Oct. 1. It reveals the interior Joan Chittister, from childhood to her becoming the public figure whose brilliance produced a body of written work that will stand as a profound expression of spirituality and women's concerns in this era.
GSR Today - While I have sensed a hint of hesitancy about Francis here among some people, overall, the pope seems to have the support, if not the affection, of the Catholic community in Bangladesh — a community that is a distinct (and very small) minority in a predominately Muslim country but whose work and reach have an influence well beyond their numbers.
I was on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol along with many thousands of others listening to Pope Francis’ address to Congress on Sept. 24, when he singled out and praised Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement. With the mention of her name, the murmured question, “Dorothy Day, who’s she?” was audible over the scattered applause and cheers of the few who know her and who share the pope’s good opinion of her.
Sr. Pooja Kollamparambil 42, is coordinator of the Nagpur Multipurpose Social Service Society, an NGO managed by the archdiocese. For three years, she ran a project for people with HIV, and when the project was completed in 2011, she started Asha Kiran (Rays of Hope), a center for children of people living with HIV/AIDS, and the program recently got a new house for the 15 children she currently serves.
Three Stats and a Map - The recent visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. this month caused a lot of lively discussion on social media, when social media itself is something the pontiff cautions against overusing.
Getting an audience with the pope can be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Missionaries of Jesus Sr. Norma Pimentel was in Washington and New York as a special guest to the papal visit. She talks to GSR about being at the welcome ceremony Sept. 23; making the visit Sept. 25 to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in Harlem with Sr. Donna Markham; and of getting to speak directly to the pope Saturday morning Sept. 26 at the diplomatic residence of the Holy See. She says the experience gave her strong encouragement to continue work at Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, especially helping migrants.
Nuns on the Bus Blog - Sisters on the tour were struck by Pope Francis’ words, particularly his address to the U.S. Congress that came just as we completed an amazing trip through seven states and 13 cities with 33 stops. We went to talk with people, hear their stories, provide a space for conversations and learn how they are bridging divides.
When Sr. Dorothy Beck joined her congregation’s social work department, she had no inkling that she would soon become the beacon of hope for thousands displaced by a government dam project in a central Indian state. Beck was 44 in 1998 when she joined Pushp Kalyan Kendra, managed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery, in Ashta, a town in Madhya Pradesh state 543 miles south of New Delhi, India's capital. As an attorney and an on-the-ground activist, she spent years helping people displaced by a government dam project to assert their rights and eventually make livings as fishermen instead of farmers. As with similar mission work in places like Guatemala in years past, it was a dangerous undertaking.
The United States sister chosen by Pope Francis to participate in next month’s synod on the family says the issues bishops and cardinals will wrestle with are the same she deals with everyday. Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Sr. Maureen Kelleher is a Legal Aid attorney in Florida, where most of her clients are farmers and immigrants.