When our group of 12 teachers and pastoral workers from the Cincinnati Archdiocese traveled to a parish in Huispache, Guatemala, we became a bridge between loved ones who had not seen one another in too many years. With each encounter, the globe seemed to shrink un poquito.
In April 1968, dozens of black priests met in Detroit in April in the first meeting of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus. Mercy Sister Martin de Porres Grey, the only woman to attend, orgaized a similar meeting of black sisters in August later that year in Pittsburgh, marking the founding of the National Black Sisters' Conference.
When I received my mission assignment letter for Outer Mongolia in 1998, I felt darkness had covered me. I was full of grief and anger, and I wondered, "Why Mongolia?" which was my second choice, and not Guatemala, my first choice. I had even started taking Spanish lessons in Cameroon!
Italian Sr. Elisabetta Flick heads a ministry of the International Union of Superiors General that accompanies migrants after they arrive in Sicily. Amid a changing migration climate, the sisters' pastoral work involves accompanying the migrants, who face fear and hostility as they try to integrate into Italian society.
Indian congregations run foster homes for children who live impoverished lives on the streets of Bengaluru and other areas. At the homes, children experience security and a supportive atmosphere. Sisters serve as surrogate parents for the children, building up their self-esteem and character.
Sr. Reine Marie Badiane of Senegal is a member of the Daughters of the Holy Heart of Mary, the first congregation of sisters founded on the African continent. Begun in Senegal in 1858, the Daughters continue their mission to promote education and self-sufficiency in multiple African countries and in France.
In the Sonoran Desert northeast of Ajo, Arizona, temperatures can soar to mid-90s in late spring and above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. This vast, arid landscape of mountain ranges, arroyos and valleys, typical throughout southern Arizona, is where undocumented migrants make a path to find better life in the United States. This is also where hundreds of unfortunate ones have taken their last breath. A number of volunteer groups regularly drop off food and water in various locations in the desert to mitigate this suffering. Recently, Global Sisters Report went on a water mission with Sr. Judy Bourg and the Tucson Samaritans.
Horizons - As I sit in discussions about the future we try to live today, questions arise: Can we try something new without the guarantee of success? How free are we to live the mission and not just leave a legacy?
"I object to the notion that anyone can be trafficked as if everything can be reduced to girls and young women being plucked from the streets. ... The larger dynamic is that trafficking tends to be at the far end of a continuum of violence and exploitation that already existed in many girls' lives."
When I am tired of arguing in defense of immigrants, of calling my legislators, of documenting what's happening via social media, I think of the refugees I have met in the temporary shelters. They are tired, too.
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