The hidden world of addiction and recovery among women religious

Public accounts of mental illness and addictions among sisters have been rare, as have details of treatment and recovery. That may be because of the pervasive shame those illnesses can elicit, as well as a historical tendency for those who struggle with them to be directed only to spend more time in solitary prayer. But that is changing as knowledge and attitudes about mental illness evolve.

South Sudan's religious renew their strength amid civil war

On the campus of the Comboni Missionaries in Juba, South Sudan, a monthly Recollection service helps religious cope with the stress of serving in a country enduring a civil war. Sisters, brothers and priests from different congregations come to the service for time to be together, prayer, community and quiet moments of solitude.

We're standing on holy ground

We arrive at the memorial already soaked. The rain has been pouring down for about an hour, making our one little umbrella woefully insufficient for our entire group. We huddle in the cab, unwilling to take that first step out into the dark, wet city. We are five Catholic sisters from different corners of the United States, and we are to become a holy trinity of sisterhood marking this spot sacred with our feet.

Beauty will break your heart

"The world will be saved by beauty," so says Dorothy Day, who borrowed the phrase from Dostoevsky's idiot, an epileptic given to fits and enlightenment. When Day says beauty saves, she is not looking especially at sunsets. She is looking at the sun setting in the poor person in front of her. And such beauty breaks her heart.