From a Memphis monastery to war-torn Guatemala

In the 36-year war in Guatemala that ended with a peace treaty in 1996, some 200,000 persons died or disappeared, most of them unarmed indigenous Maya, at the hands of the army. In the midst of the mayhem, the Poor Clares answered a call from the bishop of the hard-hit province of Huehuetenango to come out to the hinterland and pray among the suffering. With five other American sisters, Sr. Mary Peter Rowland founded the monastery of Our Lady of Wisdom of the Virgin of Guadalupe, still the base for the contemplative order's pastoral ministry.

“ . . . communion with God is life and light, and enjoyment of the good things . . .”

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Little Sisters' attentive care helps elderly poor live with dignity

Little Sisters of the Poor Queen of Peace Residence is in a residential neighborhood at the eastern edge of the New York borough of Queens. The Little Sisters of the Poor opened the facility in 1970 and have cared for 1,240 elderly men and women there, including the 81 current residents. Twenty sisters and 95 employees serve the residents, with help from volunteers and young women in the Little Sisters' novitiate, which shares the compound.

Sharing new voices of sisters in Uganda

One aspect of the mission of Global Sisters Report is providing a place for sisters themselves to speak: about their challenges, success, dreams, hopes and fears. As in Nigeria, most of the sisters I met in Uganda politely declined when I asked them if they’d be interested in writing. Toward the end of my stay, I led another writing workshop to help the sisters put their stories on paper. Here are excerpts from the work of five sisters.

Italian convents act as safe houses in trafficking portal

Sisters from various communities work together to provide trafficking prevention and rehabilitation services for women who migrate to Italy, usually from Africa. While secular NGOs run shelters in Italy as well, Sr. Eugenia Bonetti emphasizes that, for sisters, working with the women is “their life.” They aren’t simply staff who rotate in and out with each shift, but people who come to know the women deeply.

Food production needs paradigm shift

Three Stats and a Map - Last week, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reiterated its call for a “paradigm shift” when it comes to the way the world approaches food production. Speaking at a weeklong agriculture and gardening event in Berlin, the group’s director-general, José Graziano da Silva, said that in order to keep up with the growing population, our current food production system would have to surmount near impossible obstacles.

Peas

See for Yourself - I'm quite sure there must be a support group for persons who are voluntarily out and about at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Having a lot to do one weekend, I ventured out early for several errands, crossing off each one on my list as I accomplished them, planning my route in advance for efficiency, and taking traffic short cuts to save time.

Out of the land of persecution

Chaldean religious find peace and hope in Chicago - “We are who we are today because of our love for Christ," Fr. Fawaz Kako says. "In the midst of our chaos, he creates order.” Kako is is part of the ethnic Chaldean community of Catholics who have moved to the United States from the Middle East, where Christians have been a minority and persecuted for centuries. Chicago has two Chaldean Catholic parishes, where he, Fr. Sanharib Youkhana and Sr. Margaret Homa carry out their work ministering to about 7,000 people.