The overwhelming majority of those pursuing vocations in Catholic religious life in the church were born into the faith. But a small, steady stream of men and women choose first to become Catholic and then, in what is perhaps an even larger leap of faith, choose religious life itself.
A group of 167 Catholics in India, including more than 80 sisters, have signed a letter urging that Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a nun in 2014, be removed from pastoral duties.
Facing child trafficking allegations at one of its homes for unmarried mothers in India, the Missionaries of Charity said the order condemns the actions of individuals involved and stressed that these are unrelated to the order.
When Santa Clara Home opened in 1994, Chile still didn't have treatment for HIV infection. Infants and children brought to the orphanage in Santiago for children with HIV and AIDS came for death with dignity, said Sr. Nora Valencia of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Jesus, the director of Santa Clara Home for the past 10 years. That is not the case today.
In April 1968, dozens of black priests met in Detroit in April in the first meeting of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus. Mercy Sister Martin de Porres Grey, the only woman to attend, orgaized a similar meeting of black sisters in August later that year in Pittsburgh, marking the founding of the National Black Sisters' Conference.
Rome - Two Syrian families have been easing their way into life in Italy at Casa della Speranza on quiet, shaded grounds owned by the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit. Now in their second year at the house, the Syrians' time with the sisters has "been beautiful — like one family." But ahead is the next challenging step in resettlement: finding permanent housing and work.
• Also in this series: Controversy over migration continues to upend European politics
See for Yourself - The larger cities in China have many things in common, especially traffic congestion and vehicles everywhere. This causes a lot of pollution.
The Adorers of the Blood of Christ held a prayer service and reflection July 8 to mark the first anniversary of the opening of a chapel in a cornfield that symbolizes their opposition to the building of a natural gas pipeline on their property in Lancaster County.
Seeking Refuge - A new EU agreement calls for greater shared responsibility for rescuing migrants on the sea, but critics say it falls short on devising a common European policy. Meanwhile, Germany's Merkel tightens restrictions, and an Italian right-wing politician has said next year's European Parliament elections should be a referendum on migration.
Dominican Sr. Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, grew emotional talking about the harrowing stories she heard from immigrants about the life they left behind to seek refuge in the United States.
Indian congregations run foster homes for children who live impoverished lives on the streets of Bengaluru and other areas. At the homes, children experience security and a supportive atmosphere. Sisters serve as surrogate parents for the children, building up their self-esteem and character.
Bethany House of Hospitality, a staffed house that serves as a haven for migrant women, is just one of many ways that U.S. Catholic sisters support asylum-seekers. Sisters connect them with legal aid, counseling for trauma and other resources to help them resettle in the U.S.
• All the Seeking Refuge series stories can be found here.
For decades, it was considered impossible to study criminal sentencing disparities because every case is different, with distinctive context, background, history and circumstances. But that is changing, and the results are beyond troubling
Sr. Reine Marie Badiane of Senegal is a member of the Daughters of the Holy Heart of Mary, the first congregation of sisters founded on the African continent. Begun in Senegal in 1858, the Daughters continue their mission to promote education and self-sufficiency in multiple African countries and in France.
Italian Sr. Elisabetta Flick heads a ministry of the International Union of Superiors General that accompanies migrants after they arrive in Sicily. Amid a changing migration climate, the sisters' pastoral work involves accompanying the migrants, who face fear and hostility as they try to integrate into Italian society.
In the Sonoran Desert northeast of Ajo, Arizona, temperatures can soar to mid-90s in late spring and above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. This vast, arid landscape of mountain ranges, arroyos and valleys, typical throughout southern Arizona, is where undocumented migrants make a path to find better life in the United States. This is also where hundreds of unfortunate ones have taken their last breath. A number of volunteer groups regularly drop off food and water in various locations in the desert to mitigate this suffering. Recently, Global Sisters Report went on a water mission with Sr. Judy Bourg and the Tucson Samaritans.
The Life - "True formation happens when I am fully present to my daily reality. Then the word of God pierces my heart in the most unexpected ways, through the hands of his people." In the debut installment of the second year of GSR's feature The Life, our new panelists share what they've learned from work and life as a sister.
"I object to the notion that anyone can be trafficked as if everything can be reduced to girls and young women being plucked from the streets. ... The larger dynamic is that trafficking tends to be at the far end of a continuum of violence and exploitation that already existed in many girls' lives."
GSR Today - Watching the news about immigrants and refugees on television and listening to it on the radio every day captures my imagination with images of suffering, but nothing compares to the virtual experience I had June 25.
European Union leaders and religious and academic leaders from around the world have criticized the Israeli government's decision to demolish a Jahalin Bedouin village of about 190 people and relocate its residents close to the al-Azaria Palestinian village, on the edge of a garbage dump.