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).

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Q & A with Sr. Maureen Lally, helping County Mayo's local farmers thrive

Mercy Sr. Maureen Lally is founder of the Tóchar Valley Rural Community Network, a grassroots initiative in Ireland that empowers 18 rural communities by establishing microenterprises producing homegrown products.

Extension of compensation to women of Ireland's 'Magdalene laundries' adds to healing

Women who worked in Ireland's "Magdalene laundries" but were denied compensation under the state's Magdalene Restorative Justice program have won their long-running battle to have their applications reassessed. New legislation will ensure that payments to the women will be fast-tracked by the Irish state in an effort to make amends for the delay they have endured over their disputed compensation for their time working in the laundries. 

Q & A with Sr. Karol O'Connell, bringing music literacy to Irish schools

Benedictine Sr. Karol O'Connell gave her first piano lesson at age 13. She taught music for many years to the students of Kylemore Abbey School in Ireland. Now helping area teachers introduce music literacy to their schools, O'Connell is also featured in the recent documentary "Making the Grade."

Q & A with Abbess Máire Hickey, charting a path for a Benedictine abbey's future

"You are wedded to a community, and these are the people you are committed to and let yourself be formed by. We are growing together in faith."