Q & A

Q & A with Sr. Janice Vanderneck, advocating on behalf of immigrants

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.

Q & A with Sr. Sandra Smithson on being both black and Catholic in the South

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."

Q & A with Sr. James Ann Germuska, helping seniors overcome the stigma of mental health issues

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.