The Commission for Social Development, the U.N. body charged with supporting and monitoring global development progress, met Jan. 29-Feb. 7. Catholic sisters who represent their congregations at the United Nations shared best practices from their own programs and brought stories of what getting out of poverty really means for the people they serve.
The Society of Devapriya Sisters deliver daily meals to 100 elderly people living in poverty, throughout the town of Rajkot. The sisters give each of those in need a meal, along with some dignity and compassion. The ministry addresses a growing trend in Indian society: the elderly destitute, abandoned and living in isolation.
At the Confederation of Religious in Latin American and Caribbean's interculturality seminar in Guatemala, women and men religious — indigenous and Afro religious or religious who work with those communities — gathered to discuss concerns involved with blending the best aspects of indigenous and Afro culture with the institutional Catholic Church.
Misunderstanding the generous service and obedience of women religious leads to their being exploited and underappreciated, according to an investigative report in a Vatican magazine. "Sisters are seen as volunteers that one can have available as one wishes, which gives rise to genuine abuses of power," said a nun identified only as Sister Cecile.
Complex social problems plague the sunny streets of Sacramento. Amid the mess of systemic injustices is Waking the Village, a nonprofit that supports young adults and their children who are transitioning out of homelessness, with three housing programs, a child care center and two arts programs.
Mercy Investment Services says it met with Dick's Sporting Goods senior management in January to discuss the retailer's policies and responsibilities as a corporate citizen. On Feb. 28, Dick's announced it would stop selling assault rifles and raise the minimum purchase age for firearms to 21.
Despite sisters' efforts, social acceptance of sex tourism on Kenya's coast means victims are unlikely to seek help. Sex work, including for children, is seen as an acceptable means of earning a living in coastal Kenya. What is seen as a quick way out of poverty makes it hard for women and men religious to rescue young girls from sexual exploitation.
Notes from the Field - Its name, "the House of the Good Samaritan," speaks to the fact that it is a place where the hands of others come to support and heal those who were broken. The hands of the four-person nursing staff act as the healing hands of God in Gros Morne, Haiti.
Q & A with Sr. Mary Nguyen Thi Nhiem, serving ethnic villagers after a struggle to pursue her vocation
To follow her vocation, Sr. Mary Nguyen Thi Nhiem endured slave labor and over four decades of religious persecution. Her evangelization to Hmong ethnic people has grown her congregation. She spoke with GSR about her life's work.
A Brazilian court denied Regivaldo Pereira Galvao's request for a reduction in sentence for his conviction of masterminding the 2005 killing of Sr. Dorothy Stang, a U.S missionary.
In 2010, Galvao was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison, but he was released in 2012 and allowed to remain free while appealing his sentence. The rancher was re-arrested in 2017.
On Feb. 22, the court accepted the prosecutor's arguments that the sentence was appropriate, based on the evidence.