Dana Wachter is a freelance journalist and digital storyteller now based in London, Ontario. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, the University of Maryland graduate spent nearly seven years as a television anchor and reporter in Tennessee, Virginia, and North and South Carolina. After moving to Ghana to manage communications for a nonprofit, Challenging Heights, she first filed video content for Global Sisters Report.
Supporting themselves through impact investing, sisters use funds to promote social changes like reducing reliance on fossil fuels, creating opportunities for employment training, and bringing fresh groceries to former "food deserts." Putting money directly into startup companies or organizations that create a positive social or environmental impact along with financial returns as they grow is a newer way that more Canadian religious communities have found to help people while generating operating and retirement income. "We don't just do this because it's a good thing to do," Ursuline Sr. Theresa Mahoney said. "It is that, but it's also good for us. It brings us financing we need, and it gives us joy."
At the Canadian Religious Conference's 32nd general assembly, religious leaders applauded a keynote speaker's call to rethink what Catholic religious life can be. "I think we need to see things in a more diversified way," professor Elena Lasida said.
Visual essay - In the Volta Region of Ghana in west Africa, the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church Congregation run a health care facility, the Mater Ecclesiae Clinic, and the Mater Ecclesiae School for young students in the area. Their convents include facilities for baking bread, meat pies and Communion wafers — which are distributed for Masses all over the country.
The Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters' clinic in Kwesi Fante isn't just far from Ghana's capital, Accra, it's far from everywhere. With limited resources, three sisters and their staff serve about 1,000 people each month. The clinic was established as part of the congregation's mission to "continue the healing ministry of Christ," says Sr. Mary Nkrumah, the clinic's administrator. Initially, sisters from Germany and the U.S. had come as missionaries to Ghana in 1946 and years later sought isolated areas to care for those far from established medical care.