School Sisters of Notre Dame manage a preschool has transformed the lives of villagers in Bandipur, Nepal. The Seto Gurans Child Development Center helps marginalized children succeed at the critical nursery school level, enabling them to prosper when they begin formal education. The preschool involves parents in daily classroom activity, and has helped bridge class separation within the village.
Younger generations are leaving villages for city work or professional development abroad. Their elderly relatives are increasingly being left behind in their rural homes. St. Mary's Village, a home for abandoned elderly and incapacitated women, takes on the most vulnerable of these cases.
Sr. Judy Byron is coordinator of a coalition of faith-based investors that uses a shareholder platform to start dialogue for change. Bryon co-filed a successful resolution that now requires gun manufacturer Sturm Ruger to report on its gun safety efforts. She spoke to GSR about this very public win and how it compares to the coalition's other efforts.
Founded in 2000 by Medical Mission Sr. Lorraine Ryan and Sr. Joan Carusillo, a Sister of the Holy Cross, Women's Circle offers English-language classes, job-search help and cultural lessons, along with a chance to meet other women who are new to the country.
Notes from the Field - This date is ingrained in the fabric of Haitian culture. May 18 is a national holiday, and those who feel they belong to the nation of Haiti, whether or not they live within the borders of the country, will celebrate their national roots in the world's first black republic.
University of Notre Dame graduates were asked May 21 to take stock of where they are going and what they will do with their talents. "Today you have the opportunity to decide what you will be beyond this point. Will you say yes to God's plan in your life?" Sr. Normal Pimentel, recipient of the university's 2018 Laetare Medal, asked the university's graduating seniors.
Sr. Rosa Maria Troches, a School Sister of Notre Dame, joined a delegation to the U.S., where she spoke of her deep worries about the political climate in Honduras, human rights abuses there, and the fate of Hondurans whose temporary protected status in the U.S. has been rescinded.
Consolata Missionary Sr. Leonella Sgorbati was killed by gunmen in 2006 while serving in Mogadishu. Pope Francis has recognized her as a martyr, clearing the way for her beatification — the step before sainthood — which will take place May 26. "Although her martyrdom came suddenly, Sister Leonella put the lives of others first," a fellow sister told GSR.
"Conversations about social, political, economic and racial issues need to be had in communities. So often, we are unaware of just how different our own community members are from us. Don't shy away from these conversations."
Through Operation Restore retreats, Franciscan Sr. Anne Dougherty and her retreat partners provide post-trauma training to firefighters and law enforcement officers. At their Franciscan Center in Tampa, they offer first responders a safe, confidential environment where they can work through critical incidents and process the daily stress of their jobs.