Sarah Mac Donald is a freelance journalist based in Dublin, Ireland. She contributes to The Tablet, the Irish Independent and NCR. She researched and produced the documentary "Mary Ward – Dangerous Visionary," which tells the story of the 16th-century foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Congregation of Jesus. She has contributed to books, including The Francis Factor: A New Departure (Columba Press, 2014) and God's Entrepreneurs: How Irish Missionaries Tried to Change the World (New Island Books, 2010).
A Jan. 12 report revealed that up to 9,000 children died in Irish mother and baby homes, many of which were run by religious congregations. Two orders issued statements of apology, as did the head of the Irish church.
Good Shepherd Sr. Louise Horgan has been working for over 50 years to empower vulnerable women and children in Thailand, and Loreto Sr. Patricia Murray has been recognized for her work in peace, reconciliation and development.
"Our vision is for an Ireland where homelessness and the trauma caused by homelessness is eradicated from our society," says Daughter of Wisdom Sr. Jean Quinn, founder of Sophia Housing.
President Michael Higgins led tributes from all sectors of Irish society to Dominican Sr. Margaret MacCurtain, who died in Dublin on Oct. 5.