Evangelizing Sisters of Mary in Zanzibar, a Muslim-majority island off the coast of Tanzania, minister to Muslims and Christians, with an emphasis on the importance of educating girls and recognizing human trafficking. Sr. Yusta Tesha spoke with Global Sisters Report about their pastoral work on an island precariously balanced between a tourism destination and a radical group advocating for secession and Sharia law, three years after their own church was burned.
GSR Today - Between Columbus Day and Haloween, October might possibly be the most racist month in the United States. Racism, after all, is not simply the overt hatred of minorities. Racism includes the institutional structures that keep minorities from being equal players in our society. Certainly included in this definition would be the belittling minority cultures by glorifying their enslavement with a federal holiday.
When Pope Francis made a special appeal in early September on behalf of refugees from Syria and the Middle East, Catholic communities all over Europe mobilized to do more to help. While bishops urged a generous attitude and Catholic charities stepped up their aid efforts, the continent's women religious also responded with offers of shelter and support. "Each religious congregation has its own charism and tradition and has had to think how it can best help," said Sr. Martina Salmaier, of the Franciscan Sisters of Vierzehnheiligen, Germany.
GSR Today - "Difficult as it is to imagine, the situation has in recent months deteriorated even further. Fighting — barrel bombs, shells, rocket and mortar attacks — has intensified in almost every governorate."
Between January 1 and August 31 of this year, the United Nations found that more than 40,000 Afghans have sought sanctuary in Europe, the third largest refugee group entering the continent. Syrians and Eritreans made up the largest groups of refugees.
A woman religious who teaches a course at the Philadelphia prison Pope Francis visited Sept. 27 believes the pope's outreach to prisoners will have an impact on the criminal justice system in America. "He'll be aware of the injustices that may occur in the prison system," and his presence will raise public awareness about prison systems around the country, said Mercy Sr. Elizabeth Linehan, a professor of philosophy at Jesuit-run St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
The Missionaries of Charity will close their adoption centers in India, citing new regulations that would allow nontraditional families to adopt children, reported ucanews.com. Founded by Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, the congregation runs orphanages across India, with 18 of them government-recognized centers that offer children for adoption. But the nuns do not want to run adoption centers in India now, said Sr. Mary Prema, the congregation's current superior general.
Contemplative Communities profile five - Carmelite Sisters of Mary Leslie Lund and Nancy Casale were formed in the monastery, but wanting to lead a less institutional and complicated life, went back to the original expression St. Teresa of Avila had in mind. So they moved to the wilderness and live as hermits.
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Sr. Lucía Aurora Herrerías Guerra is president of Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity, a post-Vatican II congregation, and one of the organizers of the Third Encounter of New Forms of Consecrated Life in Rome earlier this year. A distinguishing characteristic of new forms of religious life like Verbum Dei is that they can include sisters, lay members (including married couples) and priests belonging to the same institute of consecrated life. Verbum Dei is one of six new communities recognized by the Vatican; many more are attempting to gain approval.