Emily Kahm is finishing up a fellowship at Augustana College, where she teaches a course in American Catholicism that is centered around the work of women religious. She sends her students out to interview a sister, an assignment that's generated surprising encounters.
Q & A
When Sr. Thelma Marie Mitchell received an award from the National Black Sisters' Conference last summer, her acceptance speech was only 13 words long. But her reticence belies her remarkable story of converting to Catholicism, becoming one of the few African-American sisters in the 1950s and caring for countless people in hospitals and clinics.
Sr. Maria Cimperman came to Catholic Theological Union in the fall of 2012 and was a visiting associate professor for the next two years. A sister with the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she was named director of the newly formed Center for the Study of Consecrated Life at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago in the fall of 2014.
When Sue Mosteller entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in Toronto, Canada, in 1952, little could she have realized that, 20 years later, her life path would merge with the nascent L'Arche Movement and spiritual luminaries Henri Nouwen and Jean Vanier.
Sr. Cynthia Mathew had battled India's oppressive caste system in Bihar state for years before going to New York to work in the United Nations. The member of the Congregation of Jesus continues her fight for justice for Dalit. Since 2017, Mathew has been working toward innovative thinking on sustainable development with the Loreto Sisters, who have U.N. Economic and Social Council accreditation.
"The reason behind my painting is really my passion since childhood," says Sr. Venus Pegar, a Filipina sister of St. Francis of Xavier. Now, with permission from her mother superior, she paints regularly to raise funds for her order's ministries.
Sr. Joan Mumaw is president and chief administrative officer for Friends in Solidarity, a partner to Solidarity with South Sudan, an African ministry that trains nurses, midwives and future leaders in South Sudan.
Medical Mission Sr. Lilly Chunkapura is founder-director of Treatment Rehabilitation and Education of Drug Abuse, an addiction and counseling center in southern India. The center has helped thousands of addicts rehabilitate and improve their lives. Chunkapura spoke with GSR about the center and its work.
Cleveland's Thea Bowman Center provides meals and help with education and social services to the predominantly black Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. The center's annual gala raises money for operating costs. This year's gala featured actress Sherrie Tolliver as Bowman in a one-woman show. GSR spoke to Tolliver and board member Gayle Bullock about Bowman's legacy.
Mary Killeen, a Sister of Mercy from Ireland, didn't choose to come to Kenya. She was in her late 20s, happily teaching in Ireland, when another sister got sick in Nairobi, and Killeen was asked to fill in. That was 42 years ago, and Killeen has been in Kenya ever since.
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