Chennai, India - Many of the girls at this house under the care of Salesian Sisters are abandoned, are orphaned or have a single parent. Most of them lived on the streets. "We try to create a homely atmosphere here to restore human dignity in them," says Marialaya director Sr. Soosai Muthu Arul. "They also get necessary opportunities and facilities to grow healthy in mind and body."
Since 1875, the center, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny, has catered to single mothers, divorcees, widows and victims of domestic abuse to help them earn a living so they can support their families.
Sr. Linnet Antony believes music nourishes the soul and leads humans to peace and tranquility. Music, she says, has the power to help people reach higher levels of self-awareness and experience God.
Ever since she was a young teenager, Sr. Clara Pitchai has worked to promote the welfare of domestic workers in India — an interest that prompted her to become a card-carrying member of the Communist Party for 14 years. The Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate sister is now leader of a 5,000-member union, educating domestic workers on social justice and conducting leadership training programs.