Sisters change lives for waste pickers of central India

The third part of our series about trash management, landfills and the involvement of sisters: It is mostly women who eke out a living by sorting and reselling scrap materials from India's streets and landfills. The Jan Vikas Society labors among 10,000 people living in 35 of the 559 officially recognized shantytowns of Indore and was started by Divine Word Fr. George Payattikattu in 2001. He later included women religious in the work to elevate the waste pickers' confidence, skills and literacy, which has resulted in higher earnings and other improvements.

Religious leaders, women in India struggle with clergy abuse of nuns

Internalized patriarchal values contribute to how women religious are treated in India, where activists are working to draw attention to the need for formal practices to handle clergy abuse of women religious, which ranges from withholding sacraments, to using nuns as domestic laborers, to taking over their institutions and to sexual abuse.

"Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them. Things do not change; we change."

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History of rebuilding helps Sisters of the Holy Family after Hurricane Katrina

The Sisters of the Holy Family have been serving in New Orleans since 1842, founded by Henriette Delille, a free black woman, during a time when the Catholic church was reluctant to extend religious life to non-whites. Eleven years after Hurricane Katrina, the community has recovered from a criminal investigation and rebuilt most of its ministries, including a nursing home and school.

Q & A with Sr. Glynis Mary McManamon, moving people through art

In November, Sister of the Good Shepherd Glynis Mary McManamon opened Shepherding Images Studio/Good Shepherd art gallery in Ferguson, Missouri. Her gallery opened just in time for the anniversary of a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the August 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown — the event that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

Q & A with Srs. Carmen Faris and Matilde Solis, accompanying those affected by Ecuador earthquake

Since Ecuador's April 16 earthquake, two Franciscan communities have had sisters on the ground here accompanying people through their grieving and recovery process. Sr. Carmen Isabel Faris is from the Ecuador-based Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Maria Auxiliadora, and Sr. Matilde Solis arrived in Ecuador two weeks after the natural disaster from the Panama-based Franciscan Sisters of Maria Inmaculada. Their congregations have been working together to support the people of Canoa, a town that suffered severe damage during the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

Sisters' school stands out in Guatemalan dump town

The second in our series of reports about trash management, landfills and the involvement of sisters: The Guatemala City garbage dump is the largest landfill in Central America. More than a third of the country's trash goes there. The scavengers take out and recycle a million pounds a day and in the process expose themselves toxic fumes and hazardous materials. The sisters who teach at the Francisco Coll School know all too well the difficulties their students confront daily.

Electronic waste: Informal economy supports thousands in Ghana slum

The first of a new series of reports about trash management, landfills and the involvement of sisters: Old Fadama is internationally famous for being the site of the Agbogbloshie electronic waste "dump," where people spend their days breaking apart the world's e-waste and burning the parts down to salvageable metals. The residents here don't want pity; they support themselves off what the world discards, and some are accessing education to move on.

GIVEN forum creates space for young Catholic women to embrace 'feminine genius'

The inaugural GIVEN forum was June 7-12 and organized by the Council of Major Superiors of Women for young Catholic women as a way to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life. The weeklong, full-scholarship program brought more than 300 women between the ages of 20 and 30 to Washington, D.C., to learn about what Pope John Paul II called "feminine genius" and how to channel that genius into "authentic leadership."