In the 25 years that Sister of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate Juanita Ujcik worked in jail ministry, she says she learned a lot about what she believes is complicated system. That's why, in October, she published Let None Walk Alone, a guidebook for the family and friends of incarcerated people.
Q & A
Travelers have the chance to help rescue sex-trafficking victims via the TraffickCam app, which is creating a database of hotel room photos. It's a project of Exchange Initiative, which came into being after meeting planner Kimberly Ritter crossed paths with the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sr. Joan Marie Brandner, a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Aberdeen, S.D., has traveled to many places in the world to teach and share the Personality and Human Relationships program, which promotes the well-being and growth of individuals and communities.
In a federal courtroom, Sr. Janice Vanderneck squeezed her rosary beads, praying for a miracle: Martin Esquivel Hernandez's release from prison so he could be reunited with his wife and three young children. Esquivel has been charged with a felony for re-entering the United States from Mexico, which he and his family left to escape drug violence.
Before the School Sisters of St. Francis welcomed her, order after order had rejected Sandra Smithson because of the color of her skin. Her father had told her that following her vocation would not be easy. "But don't think that means you don't belong," he said. "Jesus Christ came unto his own, and even his own did not receive him. So don't expect people who think you don't belong to embrace you with open arms."
Adrian Dominican Sr. Nancyann Turner is the children's program manager at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit, where her clients barely have enough to survive on, let alone buy expensive Christmas gifts — or in some cases, any gifts at all.
"Our charism calls every Sister of Mary to be a great teacher and healer, and I find there is quite a bit of teaching and healing in global social communication," says Sr. Mary Agnes Lucy Lando, a Sister of Mary of Kakamega.
Sr. Francoise Bosteels makes and exhibits dolls. She says dolls can tell stories and spread messages of hope and values. "Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs or those with no faith say the dolls spring in their heart compassion and make them aware of their sinfulness," Bostells said.
Forty years ago, St. Francis Sr. James Ann Germuska, of the Neumann communities, left her job as a schoolteacher to begin a ministry for the elderly and those seeking behavioral health services in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. With no experience in geriatric or mental health care, Germuska founded Crosskeys Human Services, a nonprofit organization now with eight locations throughout Fayette County, an area with one of the highest poverty rates in the state.
Last month, FutureChurch launched Catholic Women Preach, a project aimed at highlighting the voices of Catholic women preachers around the world. Dominican Sr. Jamie Phelps, a theologian and social worker, kicked off the project's Advent series.
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