At a recent dinner for persons of color, we shared the experience of overcoming racial dynamics that exist within predominantly white religious institutions. All of us had experienced times when white people would rather see our faces than hear our voices.
Notes from the Field
Notes from the Field are reports from young people volunteering in ministries of Catholic sisters.
The project began in the summer of 2015 when, working with the Catholic Volunteer Network, we enlisted four young women working in Honduras, Thailand, Ethiopia and the United States to blog about their experiences. This seventh round in the series features one volunteer at the United Nations in New York City and another in Haiti.
Notes from the Field - Some of my most memorable journeys in Haiti have been accompanying visiting medical mission teams as a translator into the rural countryside of Gros Morne county.
Notes from the Field - Attending the United Nations' 62nd Commission on the Status of Women with my Dominican colleagues taught me more about systemic injustice — including the too-often hidden issues affecting Native Americans — and about empowerment that comes from mutual sharing, from relationship.
Notes from the Field - The Jean Marie Vincent Center, better known to locals as the Grepen Center, is responsible for a mountaintop they have reforested; in the 1990s, the mountain was barren and dry because the trees had been cut down for fuel.
Notes from the Field - I joined Dominican Volunteers USA not because it was a Catholic volunteer program, but because I identified with their mission and admired the great work they did. When my service year started and I came out to New York, the sisters I met here were of similar minds to the people I knew at the Dominican University Ministry Center, in that they were just as progressive about the issues I cared about and were open to learning.
In a Haitian neighborhood of subsistence-farm families where people struggle to put food on the table each day, Lekòl Jezi-Mari, a primary school under the care of a Religious of Jesus and Mary, educates 576 students — some of them the first in their families to graduate from sixth grade.
Notes from the Field - Will 23 be the age when I start feeling more sophisticated and mature? Will I finally feel more confident in my professional life? Will I stop feeling this sense of anticipation about waiting for my life to begin?
Notes from the Field - Its name, "the House of the Good Samaritan," speaks to the fact that it is a place where the hands of others come to support and heal those who were broken. The hands of the four-person nursing staff act as the healing hands of God in Gros Morne, Haiti.
Notes from the Field - Wherever your service leads you — in an office, in a classroom, at a meeting, or on a train ride home — don't lose sight of what is always at stake: real people's lives.
Notes from the Field - There is a Haitian proverb that translates to "Follow your heart," and this island and its people provide plenty of opportunities to do just that in a manner that is true to self and remembers where you came from and what shaped you.
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