Overcoming their own fears, 86 Nigerian sisters did what they have not done before: express their dissatisfaction in public. At the gates of the National Assembly and to Police Headquarters, they found support for their message of solidarity with suffering Nigerians.
In Justice Matters, sisters find their grounding in Catholic Social Teaching.
During my eight years as the NGO representative at the United Nations for the Sisters of Charity Federation, I had the opportunity to travel throughout the world and observe poverty first-hand in Asia, Africa and Latin America. But then I discovered the poverty in my own backyard.
In late September, I joined 48 other women and men from across India who had gathered together for a consultation on the impact of religion and culture, namely the impact of religion and culture on the empowerment of women.
The St. Louis Catholic Worker community took an unflinching look at its own practices and made anti-racist changes to existing community structures.
It is usually the week before Christmas in the season of Advent that I have the opportunity to pray and walk in a traditional procession with others, re-enacting Mary and Joseph seeking shelter for the time when their child would be born. "Posada" in Spanish means "inn." This seeking shelter, safety, security is expressed by the word "posada."
In September 2016, the Bridge Initiative of Georgetown University issued a disturbing report on how Catholics perceive the religion of Islam and the people who follow it. The survey indicated that only 14 percent of American Catholics have favorable views of Muslims, 30 percent have unfavorable views, while 45 percent have neither favorable nor unfavorable views. The bright spot for me is that while only 3 in 10 Catholics know a Muslim personally, those who do have a far more positive view of Muslims as a whole. So, the challenge, it seems, is to encourage at least the 45 percent to get to know an individual Muslim or a family.
Everyone is born with worth and dignity, choices and opportunities. Unfortunately, some individuals enlarge their own choices and opportunities at the expense of others by creating unjust systems and structures. This deprivation of the humanity of others became clearer to me as a provincial of my religious community some years ago.
I live 90 miles from downtown Charlotte, but my emotions rushed with the people on the street, the boisterous crowd searching for answers. Not just in the crowded streets of the Queen City, but in the crowds of Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, California, and everywhere that parents cry, wives scream, and children question, “When is Daddy coming home?”
For the past two years I've been part of an investigative project, interviewing mothers of murdered children on the north side of St. Louis. The Peace Economy Project (PEP) received a small grant to research gun violence at home about eight months before Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson. We thought we could identify the efforts to stop gun violence in St. Louis and perhaps identify other cities that were doing a better job of community intervention.
It is rare for me to go through an entire week without discussing issues surrounding multiculturalism, diversity and racism. Racism does become an exhaustive topic, and for me personally, it is exhausting to swim in the waves of racism.