Sr. Rose Celeste O'Connell was once largely successful in hiding a secret: She liked to drink. A lot. "It was difficult to admit that you weren't the perfect religious, that you might have something wrong." Her recovery began in 1982 and has included ministry to other addicts.
Sr. Jisha Jiya is the first Catholic woman religious in India to direct and produce a feature film. The 39-year-old Medical Sister of St. Joseph made the film "Ente Vellithooval" ("My Silver Feather") in Malayalam, the language of the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Public accounts of mental illness and addictions among sisters have been rare, as have details of treatment and recovery. That may be because of the pervasive shame those illnesses can elicit, as well as a historical tendency for those who struggle with them to be directed only to spend more time in solitary prayer. But that is changing as knowledge and attitudes about mental illness evolve.
Recovery resources - These four accredited institutions in U.S. and Canada have a particular focus on working with men and women in religious orders as well as Catholic clergy on mental health and addiction disorders.
"I believe everyone has a unique vocation, and I enjoy helping people find what that is," says Sr. Sharon Dillon of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis. Dillon spoke with Global Sisters Report about her vision for the organization became executive director of in June, and how her past ministries inform her work.
On the campus of the Comboni Missionaries in Juba, South Sudan, a monthly Recollection service helps religious cope with the stress of serving in a country enduring a civil war. Sisters, brothers and priests from different congregations come to the service for time to be together, prayer, community and quiet moments of solitude.
GSR Today - The people I cover, Catholic sisters and other humanitarians in countries like South Sudan, are not in a position to help a journalist contact local militia. Nor should they be, especially when the military may be accused of human rights abuses.
From A Nun's Life podcasts - This Random Nun Clip explores the inspiration Catholic sisters provide to people like Rachel, who writes in from Utah asking whether it's acceptable to be like a sister, even if she can't take vows.
Venezuela's dire economic crisis has started to impact the young students of Santo Angel School outside Caracas. According to Sr. Blanca Griselis, the school's social worker, 35 students currently come to school with little to no food. She spoke with GSR about her efforts to keep students fed and in class.
Sister Margaret Ann told CNN the chainsaws were sitting in a school closet and, after Hurricane Irma left a path of destruction through the city, "they didn't belong there. They needed to be used. "We teach our students, 'Do what you can to help,' and so this was an opportunity where I could do something to help, and — thanks be to God — I was able to do it."
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