President Donald Trump's first year in office has left Catholic sisters worried and dismayed about the administration's go-it-alone, "America First" foreign policy. The frustration is particularly acute among the sisters who represent their congregations at the United Nations. The U.N. values of international cooperation and mutual accountability "are not values for the present administration," one sister told GSR.
Finding work in remote areas of Vietnam is still a problem for young people, especially since they come from large families and lack access to advanced formal education. For the past 12 years, sisters in the Ba Ria Vung Tau Province have been training young ethnic women about the dangers of accepting job offers that disguise human trafficking and other exploitation, instead giving them vocational skills they can use to find legitimate work as trained housemaids, for example. One graduate, Pham Thi Tham, said, "I am proud of my job that helps change my life."
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.
GSR Today: In the Philippines, the Religious of Mary Immaculate run a hostel and training center for house helpers — young girls whose parents send them from small islands to cities to earn money for their families.
A look into what happened in the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, Pennsylvania, in 1960: a story of racially motivated rejection, the pain that followed, and an eventual present-day apology to Patricia Grey.
Once, in a store parking lot, I witnessed a white man suddenly harass an African-American mother with two small children, before speeding away in his car. I did not express any support to the woman. To this day I am ashamed.
Following last August's presentation to LCWR about anti-black racism among Catholic sisters in the U.S., historian Shannen Dee Williams has been invited to see the archives of and speak directly to a number of congregations. For her, interest in her work epitomizes the complex relationship white women religious have with anti-black racism, as they are now trying to learn more and do the right thing.
Read next: A sisters' community apologizes to one woman whose vocation was denied
Are grand structures for worship necessary? If those who built those majestic churches had paid attention to building human communities, wouldn't that have made a difference? Instead of providing a place for religious rituals, what if they had developed a community center promoting an activity-oriented practical spirituality geared to liberating the poor?
Holy Cross Sr. Betsy Devasia has been working for the empowerment of women in northeastern India for nearly two decades. She began with economically poor neighbors of her convent in Guwahati, a major city in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. She then focused on school dropouts. She also reached out to widows, who face social discrimination. Today, hundreds of people have found a better life because of her service with the Women's Development Centre.
Standing before 300 people who work for LGBT acceptance in their Christian churches, Mark Bowman opened the "Rolling the Stone Away" conference to remember the history of the LGBT movement and to look toward future needs. I had addressed other Christian churches occasionally, but most of my four decades in LGBT ministry was spent in Catholic circles. I had read about others who moved their denominations forward but had personally met very few.
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