I was happy that my students had agreed to go on a retreat focused on social justice and service. But I had not given much thought to the issue of diversity, of who would be on the retreat with them.
Perhaps the tide is turning for lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Late last year, I made a 10-day visit to Poland, invited by the Campaign against Homophobia to give public addresses, interviews and a retreat for Faith and Rainbow, a group of LGBT Catholics.
The Somali family of 11 arrived to us on a Friday afternoon in early April. We watched in wonder as person after person climbed out of the hefty Catholic Charities van amid grocery bags and beat-up suitcases. Peering into their bright eyes as we welcomed them, I knew that something beautiful and unforgettable was happening.
Series review: "The Handmaid's Tale," a new series streaming on Hulu, is about personhood, identity, freedom and abuse of power in bleak dystopian tale set in a Christian theocracy of the not too distant future.
"For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in women religious," says sociologist Christine Gervais. Since a sister baptized her, "it's literally been a lifelong interest that began the day I was born."
Charity Sr. Margaret Beaudette created the bronze relief unveiled during Eastertide at the Church of the Ascension in New York, where hundreds of parishioners from the parish's diverse congregation turned out for a festive liturgy, blessing and dedication.
Sr. Ranjana Jose supported tribal women in India, guiding them to organize, stand up against exploitation by local moneylenders, and overcome poverty and superstition in their villages.
In the 23 years since the genocide, Rwanda has developed at a faster pace than surrounding countries. In the last decade, a government-mandated monthly day of community service, called Umuganda, has saved the country the equivalent of US$128.5 million, and the service day not only helps repair and clean every community, it provides a way for people to get to know their neighbors.
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Kenya and Tanzania as part of a team from Microfinancing Partners in Africa (MPA) because I serve on its advisory board. Microfinancing Partners in Africa was started by Sr. Toni Temporiti, a Sister of the Most Precious Blood, to provide some funding for microfinancing programs in several African countries. Now the non-profit organization is working with African sisters to start new projects.
It's time again to consider civil disobedience. When does it have power and meaning? Is it ever effective? What elements go into the planning? What are the penalties, and what are the benefits?