Sr. Cynthia Mathew had battled India's oppressive caste system in Bihar state for years before going to New York to work in the United Nations. The member of the Congregation of Jesus continues her fight for justice for Dalit. Since 2017, Mathew has been working toward innovative thinking on sustainable development with the Loreto Sisters, who have U.N. Economic and Social Council accreditation.
Q & A
"The reason behind my painting is really my passion since childhood," says Sr. Venus Pegar, a Filipina sister of St. Francis of Xavier. Now, with permission from her mother superior, she paints regularly to raise funds for her order's ministries.
Sr. Joan Mumaw is president and chief administrative officer for Friends in Solidarity, a partner to Solidarity with South Sudan, an African ministry that trains nurses, midwives and future leaders in South Sudan.
Medical Mission Sr. Lilly Chunkapura is founder-director of Treatment Rehabilitation and Education of Drug Abuse, an addiction and counseling center in southern India. The center has helped thousands of addicts rehabilitate and improve their lives. Chunkapura spoke with GSR about the center and its work.
Cleveland's Thea Bowman Center provides meals and help with education and social services to the predominantly black Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. The center's annual gala raises money for operating costs. This year's gala featured actress Sherrie Tolliver as Bowman in a one-woman show. GSR spoke to Tolliver and board member Gayle Bullock about Bowman's legacy.
Mary Killeen, a Sister of Mercy from Ireland, didn't choose to come to Kenya. She was in her late 20s, happily teaching in Ireland, when another sister got sick in Nairobi, and Killeen was asked to fill in. That was 42 years ago, and Killeen has been in Kenya ever since.
It was Jan. 20, 2017, and Sr. Susan Rose Francois, a member of the Congregation Leadership Team for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, believed she needed to respond in some way to the presidency of Donald Trump. Almost two years later, Trump is still president and Francois is still tweeting her prayers, which usually focus on leadership, healing divisions and choosing goodness over evil. She tweets a prayer every day except when she is on retreat and during Holy Week.
In northwestern Vietnam, ethnic minority groups live in extreme poverty. They lack health care and education, surviving on little food. But for the last decade, nuns from the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Hung Hoa have quietly built and served many Catholic communities in those provinces. One of the nuns, Sr. Maria Do Thi Quyen, spoke to GSR about their work.
In Zimbabwe, more than three-quarters of the population lives in rural areas with poor infrastructure and nonexistent roads. The lack of services critically affects expectant mothers in rural areas, who have difficulty getting to necessary health services before and during birth.
Sr. Marlene Weisenbeck, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, raises awareness about human trafficking through the Task Force to Eradicate Modern Slavery, working alongside other groups. "We all have to work together because the survivors come to us through various venues."
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