Sacred Heart of Jesus Sr. Florence Nweonuma was on the front lines helping draft the law that outlawed trafficking in Nigeria in 2003. Global Sisters Report caught up with Nweonuma in October to hear her reflections on two decades of anti-trafficking work.
Q & A
After arriving in West Virginia in 1976, St. Joseph Sr. Gretchen Shaffer co-founded a school for a town that didn't have one. Though retired now, she is still a constant presence in the area, continuing to minister to the powerless.
Sr. Mary Joan Njeri, an OB-GYN, made a conscious decision to work in a public hospital where women in Nairobi's largest slum who can't afford to go anywhere else come and give birth.
When St. Anthony of Padua Sr. Estela Buet visits the local prison every week, she is living out a mission she's felt called to her whole life — one that Buet said is also inherent to her order. Buet began her consecrated life working in education, hoping she'd someday be assigned to work and live among the impoverished.
Sister Marie Claire, a Hindu convert, joined the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate when she was 17 and running away from an arranged marriage. She became an artist whose work reflects the messages of Jesus and the church's mission in India.
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.
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."