It's National Midwifery Week in the United States, but for many international health organizations, midwives are the answer to the world's continuing maternal health crises. Since 2008, the U.N. has been actively trying to increase the number of midwives worldwide, believing they have the ability, not only to prevent two-thirds of maternal and newborn deaths, but also to provide the overwhelming majority of reproductive and maternal health services. And Catholic sisters are heeding the call.
For more than four decades, 8th Day Center for Justice has educated others about the oppressive structures operating in their own backyards. Now, 43 years after 8th Day first opened its doors in downtown Chicago, women religious are shepherding the center through its final year — an intentionally monikered "year of gratitude" that kicks off Sept. 30.
The amount of news we hear or read from every corner of the globe has exponentially increased. In turn, there is an increasing sense of disempowerment or impotency in the face of such suffering and pain because we don't know what we can do.
Sr. Chelsea Bethany Davis, 26, says she is the youngest professed sister of the Daughters of St. Paul. Davis is about four years from professing her final vows. She spoke with Global Sisters Report about life as a millennial sister at a time when about 90 percent of American women religious are over 60.
On Saturday nights at different time slots, three religious sisters are in radio booths with their priest co-anchors on the Philippines' widely broadcast DZMM Teleradyo that airs live on both radio and television.
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.
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.
"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.