Since its start three years ago, Global Sisters Report has provided a forum to "give voice" to women religious from around the world. We're taking that part of our mission a step further in a new monthly feature called The Life, an international panel of 20 sisters who write short reflections on various topics. The second anniversary of Pope Francis' environmental encyclical Laudato Si' inspires the first question for women religious from around the world in GSR's new feature.
The survey is being turned into a manual, and an international study is in the works. "Once we can translate it into different cultures and languages, then it's a tool that can help move religious life into a viable future," says Divine Providence Sr. Maria Clara Kreis.
"By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet."Read more
Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, one of three mostly black communities of women religious in the United States. announced they will sell their Harlem motherhouse as part of a restructuring effort. "We need to expand to places outside of New York as our number increases," said Sr. Gertrude Lilly Ihenacho, head of the congregation.
Long before the tropical birds began their sunrise call-and-response from the treetops, a sleepy band of travelers boarded their transport, headed deep into the heart of Panama's largest wetlands system.
Thirty-nine people shared 13 first-place awards, nine second-place, four third-place and five honorable mentions for National Catholic Reporter and Global Sisters Report at the 2017 Catholic Media Awards.
"This is ultimately a spiritual fight": Panama's political context weighs heavily on retreat-goers, including a biologist worried about habitat loss and an environmental director sanctioned for trying to enforce the law.
GSR Today - Government in this country is not some "other." It is not a dark entity that is our enemy or something to be tolerated. It is us. Both government and the church, when they are at their best, are truly examples of how the whole can be so much more than the sum of its parts.
Over her 36 years of prison ministry, the St. Joseph sister's work has chipped away at U.S. support for the death penalty, fellow activists say: "They don't get argued into thinking differently, they get storied into thinking differently." Sr. Helen Prejean said she never set out to be an activist, especially one advocating on behalf of death row inmates. She spent her early years as a sister working in the suburbs as a middle school teacher, director of religious education at a New Orleans parish and a director of her order's novices.
Past the coconut palm and the greenhouse and the tree nursery, alongside the garden of medicinal plants like ginger and turmeric and aloe vera, following a busy procession of leaf-cutter ants, the Web of Life retreatants' happy chatter rang through the trees as they walked through the Maryknoll Pastoral Center's forest.
"Most parishes just go on holding Mass and have a few things going on, but what is the real mission of the parish?" asks Dominican Sr. Donna Ciangio. "How is the parish a school of discipleship?"
Global Sisters Report spoke with Sr. Redempta Kabahweza. As a counselor to children who have survived sexual violence, she hears the children's tales of suffering. She shared how she deals with these traumatic experiences, and how she finds the inner strength to continue fighting for justice.
World Refugee Day - Tension remains amid relative calm in Wau, and the thousands who fled violence and found refuge at the city's St. Mary Cathedral still fear to return to their looted homes.
From her mission deep in Panama's rainforest, Sr. Melinda Roper embraces a human rights focus much broader than the one that thrust her into the international spotlight nearly four decades ago. Roper was at the helm of the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic on Dec. 2, 1980, when four U.S. churchwomen — two of them Maryknoll sisters — were murdered in El Salvador.
In guidance posted June 15, the Department of Homeland Security said the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will continue, ensuring that so-called "Dreamers" are safe from deportation for the duration of their work permits.
Through nearly 20 years of teamwork, congregations in St. Louis, Missouri, have come together have meet local education needs. They have developed a program that provides English tutoring to children from families of refugees and immigrants, and they founded a Catholic all-girls middle school.
GSR Today: On my visits over the years to Myanmar, I have seen the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions grow past political challenges and become more involved in development projects for women: Farming, training of young women in computer skills, tailoring and other income generation skills.