Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, announced Aug. 20 that its popular Nuns on the Bus tour will travel the U.S. for a sixth time. This year's tour will begin Oct. 8 in Los Angeles and end Nov. 2 in Palm Beach, Florida, at the Mar-a-Lago resort owned by President Trump, where the sisters plan to present the stories they heard on their cross-country journey.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious issued a statement Aug. 20 in response to a grand jury report from Pennsylvania that more than 300 priests sexually assaulted at least 1,000 victims over 70 years, most of which bishops covered up.
As identical twin sisters, Sister Judith and Sister Maristella Maldonado not only look exactly alike, but as members of the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima, they dress alike, wearing that order's white habit and black veil with white trim.
Women religious exist to seek justice as the light of Christ in a world of darkness, Sr. Anita Baird told those gathered for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious' annual assembly Aug. 10 as she received their 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award. "As the first African-American to receive this leadership award, you honor not only me, but every African-American woman religious as you bear witness to the fact that black religious life matters," she said. "It took until 1979 until the bishops finally acknowledged racism as a sin," Baird told GSR. "You've got to address systems and processes and policies."
Grace on the Margins - The young women and children who suffered at Ireland's Catholic institutions also deserve an act of contrition by the pope, hierarchy, clergy and women religious.
GSR Today - The four days the Leadership Conference of Women Religious spent in St. Louis included a discussion of how to abolish the death penalty, reflections on diversity and asking hard questions about racist pasts, and a fidget spinner. Here are some more snippets we couldn't include in our full coverage of the assembly.
GSR Today - The Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in between periods of war in Sudan. The diocesan congregation ministers to those in need through communities in Uganda and South Sudan. The threat of danger is a constant, but so is the sisters' faith in God.
See for Yourself - Our China time was replete with things to see in several cities, but we still had time for a quick visit to souvenir shops.
On the final day of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly Aug. 10, sisters explored the diversity within the image of God and lessons for religious life, marched to the Old Courthouse in St. Louis and bore witness against systemic racism, and honored Daughter of the Heart of Mary Sr. Anita Baird, the first black recipient of LCWR's Outstanding Leadership Award.
"In the presence of constant and painful reminders of the deep roots of racism in our country, [LCWR pledges] to go deeper into the critical work of creating communion, examining the root causes of injustice and our own complicity, and purging ourselves, our communities, and our country of the sin of racism and its destructive effects."
This week, Holy Cross Sr. Sharlet Wagner, an immigration lawyer who has lived in four countries, transitions from president-elect to president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. All who spoke to GSR about Wagner stressed her capacity to listen and take in all points of view.
Sisters from the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament came to Pleiku City, Vietnam, in 2000 to serve ethnic minority villagers. Today, they provide care at their convent for children with physical disabilities from poor families. "We believe they are sent to us by God."
As the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly continued into its second day, keynote speakers developed the assembly theme of being the presence of love and the power of communion, raising issues of religious life governance, societal fragmentation and racial justice.
Brown's death and the subsequent protests forced many white people in the St. Louis area — including women religious and other social justice Catholics — to wrestle with the luxury they had of assuming things weren't that bad. And in the four years since white police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Brown, a black 18-year-old, and then faced no charges for it, dismantling racism has become an integral part of the archdiocese's mission.
Precious Blood Sr. Mary Faye Hellman started a boarding school for girls from indigenous Mayan villages outside Guatemala City. She spoke to GSR about the little girl who inspired her to start the school, how their work prepares the young women to be leaders.
On a rainy July afternoon in Kermit, a local woman sifted through a table of donated apparel at Christian Help Inc.'s free clothing store. The outreach center was full that day and she was among many seeking help.
NCR preview - The Catholics on Call program brought together about two dozen young adults, mentors and others July 25-29 in Chicago, for discussion and community about finding direction in life.
Honduras ranks as the sixth most unequal country in the world. Drug cartels are common, and workers are subjected to extortion. Women are fleeing Honduras to protect their children from gangs: boys are forced to become foot soldiers while girls are preyed upon against their wills. Now under tougher U.S. policies, gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum claims. And deportees are arriving back in Honduras in massive numbers.
• Also in this series: As resettlement agency in Kansas closes, other doors open