Living like prisoners: Women talk about U.S. detention centers

Some 183 women and children seeking asylum are held at the Karnes County Residential Center, one of two family detention centers in south Texas operated by companies under contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Their plight is drawing increasing attention, fueled on the inside by a hunger strike and fast, and, on the outside, by legal jockeying and a recent visit by the head of ICE. At the heart of the matter are complaints of lengthy stays in prison-like conditions, as well as a question repeatedly posed by activists, attorneys and faith-based organizations.

Grounded

See for Yourself - Live theater is exciting. Although viewing a play on a movie screen or on TV is entertaining, live theater brings the show to life in a way that can't be captured on film. Recently I had the privilege to be in the pit orchestra for a community production of "Peter Pan." This was the famous 1954 Mary Martin Broadway version.

"You walk toward trouble, you don’t walk away from it. You walk toward it so you can embrace it and hold it and help people who are suffering."

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Presentation Sister from India builds a garden of peace in rural Zambia

Sr. Teresita Abraham and the Presentation Sisters purchased land in September about 22 miles outside the town of Kaomain the Zambia’s southwestern province and are now in the process of building and landscaping the property as an eco-spiritual retreat and education center. Local volunteers are taking part in building the “Garden of Oneness” to be a place for quiet connection to the ecological side of spirituality, celebrating the close ties between traditional spiritual practices in Africa and nature.

Q & A with Sr. Angela Hoffman

Benedictine Sr. Angela Hoffman thinks there’s a chance plants and fungi could provide a natural cure for cancer. She hasn’t found anything yet, but as a biochemist and professor at Portland University, she – along with her research students – continues to log hours in the lab looking. Earlier this month, the 2014 Oregon Academy of Science award winner for outstanding higher education in science and mathematics spoke to Global Sisters Report about her work.

Climate change: Who believes it?

Three Stats and a Map - Earlier this month, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication took data it had gathered between 2008 and 2014 and released an interactive map that allows you to see what people in the United States think about climate change. You can sort data by specific opinions (e.g., Will climate change harm me personally? Will global warming harm future generations?) And you can sort the data by U.S. states, congressional districts and counties.

At the heart of the matter: Women religious at the United Nations

Thousands of women from throughout the world – including women religious – attended the March meetings of the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women and a parallel event known as the NGO CSW Forum, marking the two decades since the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the U.N.’s Beijing World Conference on Women. “It’s important for women to ‘own things’ – own the issues that are important to women,” said Dominican Sr. Bernadine Karge of Chicago.

The Spoiled Victory of the LCWR

Commentary - The virtual treaty that called an end to the Vatican's supervision of the LCWR has been generally hailed as a victory of the sisters' wisdom and perseverance over bad judgment and worse politics. I'd prefer to agree with that but don't. While it doesn't please me one bit to see this outcome as strengthening the status quo, I believe that's what it amounts to.

Doing our part

GSR Today - People are always surprised when I tell them how small the Global Sisters Report staff actually is. The fact of the matter is, while we have correspondents all over the world (that’s how we get all those global stories!) there are just four of us in the Kansas City office. Personally, I think we get a lot done for such a tiny group, but there are still times I wish we had more hands to do more things.