Three women who recently took final vows as Maryknoll sisters after a lengthy discernment process said they were drawn to the order by a lifestyle of simplicity, its international presence and the diversity of its mission work. Srs. Abby Avelino, Julia Shideler and Anastasia Lee took their final vows during a Mass attended by nearly 250 people in Westchester County, N.Y., As Maryknoll sisters, they are part of an international order with approximately 500 members serving in 25 countries. In taking their final vows, the women publicly committed to lives of poverty, chastity and obedience.
GSR Today - As we in the Global North search for ways to expand our consciousness of ourselves as part of a global religious life, we need to continue to commit ourselves to finding new and effective ways to assist our sisters worldwide to become the “New women of the old faith” in their countries as our foremothers did in ours.
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.
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.
Newest saints include the founder of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate in India and the founder of the Teaching Sisters of St. Elizabeth.
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.
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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