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.
Related - African tradition blends with religion to illuminate path to forgiveness
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.”
Related - Busy hands build bridge to recovery
Sr. Maria Añanita Borbon, 47, heads the Council for Ministry for the Philippine Province of the Religious of the Good Shepherd and coordinates Ruhama Center for girls and women in Marikina City, east of Manila, carrying on the work of the late Sr. Mary Soledad Perpiñan.
Three Stats and a Map - Last week, the Pew Research Center released the results of massive survey of religious life in Latin America. The big news out of the survey is that the traditionally Catholic region – 40 percent of the world’s Catholic live there – is becoming increasingly Pentecostal.
GSR Today - Just try to resist reading a story under this headline: “Golf cart nun to retire at 93.” I couldn’t do it this week. So read on.
See for Yourself - On the day that I went with my friend, Brenda, to the antique show, she went in and out of every booth but I walked in the aisle between the booths. I had a notebook with me and had fun jotting down interesting items I saw being offered for sale. It was like reliving my childhood seeing items straight out of our homestead growing up and I intended to compare notes with my sister.
From A Nun's Life podcasts - In this LOL Nun Outtake, we talk about an "innovative" concept for resolving conflict: dragging people to Jesus in prayer.
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary reflect on living with Indigenous peoples of Argentina in a time of economic, political and cultural change - The issues seemed bigger in the past – the school, the land issue. Today people have better political connections but smaller horizons. As a result, the sisters feel at times they are being sidelined. Things from the outside – urbanization, a change in diet, the desire for work over a nomadic life, the embrace of consumer society – were not of the people's own making, but rather feel imposed.