Not just facts and figures: Accounting is empowerment

Financial education to help sisters “manage the little resources they have” on road to self-sufficiency - As American and European donations to Catholic organizations decline, congregations in Africa are trying to come up with creative ways to maintain the programs that provide essential services in rural areas, often beyond the reach of the government services. One innovative approach is securing education so that sisters can take charge of their finances, to help congregations become financially self-sufficient.

 

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Halloween costumes that mock religious figures called disrespectful

GSR readers would never even consider dressing up as a "naughty nun," but every Halloween the marketplace and individuals come up with costumes that mock religious figures. Doing so traces back to medieval times, but the outcome is always hurtful, said Ken A. Grant, lecturer in history and religious studies at University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg.

Q & A with Sr. Vivien Okereke

Safe motherhood in Port Harcourt - Sr. Vivien Okereke is medical director of Our Lady Health of the Sick Hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. In a country with one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, health education for expectant and new mothers is important. Okereke, a member of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus, urges women to bring their husbands to her “safe motherhood” classes and to find ways to set aside money that they can spend themselves on their own healthcare.

Ebola and chocolate

Three Stats and a Map - Ebola is about more than just healthcare. As Melanie Lidman, Global Sisters Report’s Africa and Middle East correspondent, reported earlier this month, when an epidemic meets an already fragile social infrastructures, the reverberations are felt on multiple levels. One perhaps surprising example of this is the effect Ebola has had on the world’s chocolate industry.

Nuns produce traditional medicines for their livelihood and ministries

Missionaries of Charity Sisters in Vietnam prepare and sell traditional herbal remedies to support their community, but after their farmland was taken by the government for a new economic zone this year, they have to get their raw materials from other sources. The nuns plan to buy new land and build their houses near existing residential areas. “Our congregation’s mission is to live and do manual work among poor workers, to serve them.”

Springbank Retreat: 'Healing Self, Healing Earth'

Springbank Retreat Center for EcoSpirituality and the Arts in Kingstree, S.C., is part of religious communities’ mission in the U.S. and Ireland dedicated to teaching people about conservation, clean energy and respect for the natural world. In the Diocese of Charleston – the only diocese in the state, the center has had a presence by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Mich., since the 1980s, when Sr. Betty Condon became the center’s director. Its retreats and programs are run by a variety of women religious communities.