As I transition to a new ministry, I leave Ruah Community Services with gratitude for all it has taught me about working alongside people living in poverty and on the margins. The Western Australia nonprofit is a great model for us in religious life today.
Sr. Anne Lécu serves as a medical doctor for one of the biggest prisons in Europe. She holds a doctorate in philosophy for her work on the effects of being jailed. She spoke with GSR about her experience being a doctor "the world of prisoners" changed her perspective on justice.
I have been privileged to serve in five Nigerian prisons, and to find creative ways to help the prisoners there. My goal is to make them self-reliant and independent, so they will not return to a life of crime.
Sr. Donna Liette is on staff at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood. Founded in 2002, the ministry works with youth and mothers who live amid gangs, violence, drugs and racial division.
Sr. Boitumelo Albertina Matlhabe has spent most of her life at St. Joseph's College High School in Gaborone, Botswana. The Sister of Calvary graduated from St. Joseph's in 1979, and she's been teaching there since 1985. In 2005, she became the school's managing director. She spoke with GSR about the realities of running a school that is partially funded by the government.
Forty sisters in India from different congregations are working to make the Catholic faith more accessible to people who are deaf or have partial hearing loss, including using sign language during Mass. They serve in the Syro-Malabar Church, one of three Catholic rites in India; its synod approved offering Mass in sign language last year. They also provide marriage counseling, interpretation and legal advocacy to the wider deaf community.
GSR Today - The situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a crisis; sisters are doing what they can to help save people, especially orphans, amid the burning of villages, brutalization and rape of women, militias' conscription of children, and the targeting of Catholic convents, schools and clinics.
Appreciation - Advocate for the marginalized, well-known health care lobbyist on Capitol Hill, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious during heightened scrutiny of religious life, a "center of power," Sr. Catherine Pinkerton modeled how to stand on the line of "what is and what is yet to be" in justice and care of people.
The School Sisters of Notre Dame, following the Gospel call to welcome the stranger, have welcomed Manal Mohammad Alazzam and her five children, letting the refugee family stay in a vacant house on their campus in Wilton, Connecticut. The sisters are partnering with the Wilton Interfaith Action Committee to support the family, with over 100 volunteers pitching in.
Sr. Doyet Luarca never thought she would be among the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit who were doing mission for almost four decades in her Mangyan tribal community. But in a historic event in 2005, she professed her first vows in a ceremony mixed with Mangyan rituals. Since that time, she has worked extensively with indigenous people in the Philippines.