Sr. Marge Clark of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary spent 13 years with Network, lobbying for changes in national policy. Recently retired, she talks to GSR about the changes she's seen and the challenges of hyperpartisan Washington.
GSR Today - We set up The Life to further the global sisterhood by sharing approaches and solutions in pursuit of a better world. Twenty sisters from around the world share their thoughts and expertise by answering a question posed to the panel each month. What would you like to ask them?
"We have a new generation of young people whose primary existence is tethered to digital devices, particularly smartphones. There is mounting evidence that these devices are radically changing their lives."
For Sr. María Molina of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption, a strong heart and an unwavering faith are fundamental tools in working with children at social risk. When hearing their tragic stories of abuse, "one has to be very firm and very balanced," so as not to become overwhelmed, she says. "They easily tell a story that one never imagines -- and yet it happens."
Salesian Sr. Ana Maria Mainero describes life in Delft, a South African township ripped apart by murders, as "a constant feeling of being alert, because even at lunchtime, the morning — any time is good to shoot." With the Don Bosco Skills Training Center, now under construction, she hopes to provide an alternative to the pull of gang life.
Notes from the Field - Even though 20 to 30 minutes is not that long to walk someplace once, it can be if a person has no other options and must do it regularly. A number of individuals and families served by Ursuline Ministries walk around town, undeterred by the weather.
Remembered in a special way on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, are 298 persons who fought and suffered in the Philippines, including many who gave their lives, to end the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and martial rule that lasted 14 years. Their names are etched on the black granite Wall of Remembrance of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Monument for Heroes) in Quezon City, Metro Manila. Candles are lit, flowers are offered by relatives and friends and activities or programs are often held on this day.
The Catholic social justice lobby Network has collected nearly 1,000 letters from women religious to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, urging him to adopt a "fair and moral" federal budget.
When Benedictine Sr. Kathleen Cogan began writing short stories about growing up on her family's Colorado ranch, she just wanted to give herself something to do while she recovered from a 2014 stroke. Her new hobby culminated in a time capsule for her family that became a published book.
Villa Maria is a transition home for women without children who are either homeless, fleeing abusive relationships, or recently released from prison or jail. The staff, led by Loretto Sr. Mary Margaret Murphy, provides women with resources as they help pave their path to recovery.