The sisters of the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Los Angeles carry on the spirit of founder Bishop de la Motte, who began the congregation in Vietnam some 350 years ago. Today, their California ministries focus on helping the poor and suffering, especially women and children, and faith formation in areas that include some of the largest concentrations of Vietnamese and Hispanic populations in the U.S.
Sister Janet's ministries included 35 years of medical service to people who live in poverty in Kentucky, New Mexico, Texas and a colonia in Anapra, Mexico. She was also one of GSR's first contributors.
Maryknoll Sr. Teresa Dagdag has gained "insights into the life's struggles of working women who have to work long hours to make ends meet. Often, they are not able to continue with their schooling. These instances are too many all over the world. They demonstrate the systemic injustice of our socioeconomic experiences and developed in me a passion to work for justice, peace and integrity of creation, for well-being and wholeness of members of the one Earth community."
After close to 50 low-profile years working among rural people who live in poverty, the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines now faces the Duterte government's accusations that the organization aids communist rebels and engages in trafficking tribal children.
The hallmark of Sr. Mary Ellen Merrick's ministry was the way she infused it with spirituality and strong leadership. "I can honestly say that I have learned more from her than any other supervisor in my clinical career," said a member of Merrick's clinical team at Guest House.
Chillán, Chile - Founded by Ursuline Sr. Mimi Ballard and seven Chilean women, Casa Ursulina today has roughly 200 participants and about 15 programs, including baking, embroidery, belly-dancing and visiting the sick. But the real help the women get is deeper than their acquired skills. Local psychologists and social workers prescribe joining Casa Ursulina to depressed patients, and women find mutual listening they otherwise lack in their homes.
The perfect pitch Dominican Sr. Mary Jo Sobieck threw prior to a Chicago White Sox game last summer not only went viral but is still out of the park. First, there was a bobblehead in her image and now, she has her own baseball card.
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.
During the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Medical Mission Sisters and others discussed the radical reorientation of behavior and beliefs we need to shift to a more inclusive way of being in the world.
Notes from the Field - I have to recognize each time I ride in a private car or eat at an agency luncheon that this is part of my work. Mentally rebuffing them brings me no closer to realizing what it truly means to live in service of others.
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