Some tear at the roots of violence by running schools, health clinics or social programs. Others do it in smaller ways, concentrating not on changing neighborhoods or even city blocks, but individual lives. "We're under no illusions," says Dominican Sr. Joanne Delehanty. "Our energy goes into being church and being good neighbors."
For Dominican Srs. Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platte and others like them, the U.N. agreement — which nuclear states like the U.S. have said they "do not intend to sign" — is a milestone in activists' long, vigilant but often lonely efforts.
Eighty-one-year-old Loretto Sr. Patricia McCormick likes to call herself a "farm kid from Illinois," but she's spent the last half-century preaching peace in Central America and, now, Denver. McCormick spoke with Global Sisters Report about nuclear disarmament, being pen pals with Jesuit Fr. Dan Berrigan, and the young activists of Black Lives Matter.
When Sr. Mary Rose Mukukibogo first approached women in Gisagara, southern Rwanda, about starting an agricultural association, they were furious. It was 1997, three years after the 100-day genocide in 1994 that killed more than a million people during the fighting and the chaos afterwards. Mukukibogo, a member of Les Soeurs Auxiliatrices (Helpers of the Holy Souls), remembers walking from house to house in the district near the southern city of Butare, asking them if they'd like to join a farming cooperative.
Benebikira 'Sister Listeners' offer informal counseling to both victims and perpetrators of the violence during the Rwanda genocide, seeking to forge a bridge of understanding. Their roles as listeners are especially important during the anniversary of the genocide.
Rwanda is a beautiful country, with hills as far as the eye can see. The complicated history and widespread government control are a bit more difficult to see, hovering just beneath the surface of Rwanda's status as the 'poster child of Africa.'
The Sisters of Our Lady of Sion in San Jose, Costa Rica, focus on education and dialogue as a means to achieve peace. They run a school, youth and women's social programs, and their Center for Biblical Studies and Judeo-Christian Relations at their congregation's headquarters in Moravia, in the northeastern outskirts of San José.