Pope Francis' words motivate sisters, others in Colombia ministries

Hundreds of Colombian families have turned to the center, Asociación Hogares Luz y Vida ("Homes of Light and Life"), to aid their children with special needs. As director of the home, Sr. Valeriana García-Martín has worked tirelessly for more than two decades to build an institution that provides needed care for some of Colombia's most vulnerable children. García-Martín, a 74-year-old native of Spain, compares the work to rebuilding a house — "rebuilding the church of the poor," she calls it. And her own role, she believes, is secondary to the example of Jesus' mercy at work in the world. But there is another person whose example she thanks: Pope Francis.

"Do we ignore the commonplace plight of the homeless or sit pondering why and what to do?"

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Q & A with Sr. Theresia Fidelis Tarimo: Teaching theology in the Tanzanian highlands

When there’s a break in the clouds in northern Tanzania, clear skies reveal the most stunning panorama of mountains. The snow-peaked plateau of Mt. Kilimanjaro is in one direction, and the stark outlines of Mt. Meru is in the other. Tucked between the peaks and fortified with clear mountain air, the Holy Spirit Sisters built the Theological Pastoral Center of Rauya, a tranquil theology college, where Sr. Theresia Fidelis Tarimo challenges men and women religious to learn about morality, in order to answer challenging questions from the young generations

As U.N. prepares for monumental year, advocates question new anti-poverty goals

For those who pay attention to the United Nations, this year is shaping up to be something of a milestone, with the last half of the year in particular taking pride of place for global significance. Three major conferences — on financing for development, sustainable development goals and climate change — take place this year, and with their leadership of committees, subcommittees, forums and working groups, Catholic sisters have carved out a well-respected niche in the U.N. system.

Coming home

Notes from the Field - I distinctly remember the first time I referred to a place that was not the physical home of my childhood as my “home.” It was the end of winter break of my freshman year of college and I was talking to my mother about when she would be able to drive me back home.

New ‘Nuns on the Bus’ tour to highlight Pope Francis’ U.S. visit and agenda

Nuns on the Bus is hitting the road again, starting in St. Louis and ending up in Washington, D.C., in time for the pope's visit to our nation's capital. Sr. Simone Campbell is once again the driving force behind the newest iteration of the “Nuns on the Bus” phenomenon; she thinks whatever their modes of travel, both the pope and the Catholic sisters are united in their core themes: a faith-based promotion of economic justice and political consensus for the common good.

Sisters preserve ethnic groups’ cultures by collecting ancient artifacts

In the face of encroaching farming that is causing deforestation of Vietnam’s central highlands and pushing out the ethnic minorities who have lived there for decades, sisters from the Mary Queen of Peace Congregation are striving to collect traditional crafts from these disadvantaged people as a way to conserve their traditions and cultures. Sr. Mary Nguyen Thi Thuan also runs a hostel for 130 children from 13 ethnic groups. They are able study at local schools and are given free accommodation and meals by the sisters, who also teach them how to play traditional musical instruments and dance to perform at festivals and public ceremonies.

Black Catholic groups stand in solidarity

On June 17, a man entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and joined a Bible study for about an hour before he began firing a handgun, killing nine people and wounding another. Sr. Roberta Fulton, who was at the joint meeting July 27 to 29 of the National Black Sisters' Conference, the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons, the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association and the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, said one reason the shootings resonated so deeply for blacks is the importance of the church in everyday life. "In the African-American community, the church is the place we go for just about everything we need," said Fulton, a Sister of St. Mary of Namur.