Sisters' killer sentenced to life without parole in Mississippi

A plea agreement spared Rodney Earl Sanders from the death penalty, which was opposed by both sisters' congregations and their families. Sr. Paula Merrill of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and Sr. Margaret Held of the School Sisters of St. Francis were nurse practitioners ministering to the poor in rural Mississippi when they were stabbed to death in 2016.

"It is part of my work to be in dangerous areas. I am happy to be here. I have a calling and a mission to be here. We believe the Gospel should be taught in everyday life no matter the circumstances."

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UN grapples with updating definitions of 'migrant' and 'refugee'

World Refugee Day - Who is an official refugee? What makes a migrant? United Nations' definitions govern policy and practice for member countries, and these particular definitions haven't been updated in recent decades. With so many people moved away from their homes — 68.5 million — countries are working on setting up new binding provisions. Negotiation meetings on two new compacts continue next month, with the hope to have them finalized and signed by year's end.

Nearly 600 institutions back Catholic Climate Declaration

Among the signers are 37 dioceses, close to 200 religious communities, more than 100 parishes, 61 Catholic universities, and more than a dozen Catholic health care organizations. "If we know creation is a gift for us to enjoy, to safeguard and to protect for future generations, climate change presents us with a moral crisis and a moral question," said Sr. Sharlet Wagner, president-elect of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

As kidney donors, Kerala sisters offer gift of life to ailing patients

Kochi, India - "I got my kidneys as a gift from God. As life is precious, I gave that as a gift to another person." With the help of the Kidney Federation of India, founded by Fr. Davis Chiramel, sisters in Kerala state, along with priests and one bishop, have donated a kidney, with recipients including relatives, fellow sisters, and strangers. It's path-breaking in a country where commercial kidney transplant is rampant.

Filling education gaps, sisters help Khmer children in Vietnam

The Mekong Delta's Soc Trang Province is one of largest Khmer-populated provinces in southern Vietnam. Khmer ethnic people account for over 30 percent of the province's population of 1.3 million, and because of their status, they are generally left out of government-run schools, health care and other opportunities to move out of poverty. Over two decades ago, Sisters of Lovers of the Holy Cross of Can Tho volunteered to educate illiterate Khmer adults at their convent in Soc Trang City to introduce the mostly Buddhist population to Catholicism and help them live better lives.