Sr. Bertha Lopez was buying 55-pound sacks of rice, when the cashier asked: "Where do they want the rice? For Guatemala or for whom?"
When Catholic Charities asked the Felician congregation if it would be possible to use their convent to house asylum-seekers, the sisters and a small army of volunteers worked tirelessly to feed, clothe and shelter 50 weary guests.
GSR Today - Last summer, at a meeting of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, I met a number of Vietnamese sisters who were part of a 1975 migration from Vietnam. My curiosity was piqued as I learned that each found her way to the Kentucky Dominicans and later as a group to the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
Visiting three small communities with 30 to 40 families in each group, we heard from the people how they had been displaced and were currently under threat of yet another displacement. All were poor working families paying rent but facing the possibility of losing their modest shelters: although one community had land gifted by its owner, they had no documents to prove that gift.
We hear so much about the caravans coming from Honduras that I wanted to see what would make people flee from their country. The control of the land and rivers by the wealthy and their corporate interests has created an environment of social instability and forced the expulsion of the people.
My experience with the "People of Faith Root Causes Pilgrimage to Honduras" delegation was memorable. One plea from groups and individuals was that we persuade our government not to send aid to Honduras because it is used by the government, its army and police forces to oppress the people. They said that the ordinary poor people, 60% of the population, never see aid from the U.S.
GSR recently held a discussion with Sr. Carmen Sammut, president of UISG; Sr. Pat Murray, executive director of UISG; Sr. Sharlet Wagner, president of the LCWR; and Sr. Carol Zinn, executive director of LCWR, about abuse of sisters, the role of women in the church, interreligious dialogue and work at the margins.
Pilgrimage to Honduras: I was particularly happy to be part of the delegation traveling to Honduras in a "reverse caravan," since it meant a return to the country where I had ministered for almost 19 years.
The Life - Changes and challenges called the founders of congregations to discover and present-day women religious to rediscover their charism. GSR heard about it from our sister panelists this month as they responded to this question: How have you or your congregation taken your mission or charism and adapted it to the culture of your surroundings or your country's history?
GSR Today - "We need to look as a nation to our obligations and reach out to help people — especially since we are a rich nation. The U.S. government is obliged to help people in desperate situations."
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