Sr. Donna Liette is on staff at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood. Founded in 2002, the ministry works with youth and mothers who live amid gangs, violence, drugs and racial division.
As Pope Francis reminds the world to pray for peace on Jan. 1, Sr. Rosemary Nyirumbe hopes the message of the women of northern Uganda will reach forgotten corners of the world where conflicts are just beginning to fade and wounds are still fresh. Nyirumbe is overseeing the creation of the Transformative Peace Education curriculum, part of a partnership with the University of Oklahoma that gives survivors, not academics, responsibility for designing the program.
GSR Today - A few things happened in on my reporter's beat to make the goal of peace more tangible and urgent for me. The first? Being further awakened to the effects of war on real people. And sisters at the U.N., with their mixture of pragmatism and idealism, put what I have seen into global perspective.
The presence of women religious as certified election observers is "a new form of evangelization," says Sr. Josephine Muthoni Kwenga, who visited her first poll at 9 a.m. Oct. 26 and kept observing through the night until 11:30 a.m. the next day.
A key part of Maryknoll Sr. Elizabeth Zwareva's ministry at the U.N. has been focused on nuclear disarmament. Given the current tensions between the United States and North Korea, GSR asked her for her thoughts about the current conflict and broader peace-related issues.
Some tear at the roots of violence by running schools, health clinics or social programs. Others do it in smaller ways, concentrating not on changing neighborhoods or even city blocks, but individual lives. "We're under no illusions," says Dominican Sr. Joanne Delehanty. "Our energy goes into being church and being good neighbors."
For Dominican Srs. Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platte and others like them, the U.N. agreement — which nuclear states like the U.S. have said they "do not intend to sign" — is a milestone in activists' long, vigilant but often lonely efforts.
Eighty-one-year-old Loretto Sr. Patricia McCormick likes to call herself a "farm kid from Illinois," but she's spent the last half-century preaching peace in Central America and, now, Denver. McCormick spoke with Global Sisters Report about nuclear disarmament, being pen pals with Jesuit Fr. Dan Berrigan, and the young activists of Black Lives Matter.
When Sr. Mary Rose Mukukibogo first approached women in Gisagara, southern Rwanda, about starting an agricultural association, they were furious. It was 1997, three years after the 100-day genocide in 1994 that killed more than a million people during the fighting and the chaos afterwards. Mukukibogo, a member of Les Soeurs Auxiliatrices (Helpers of the Holy Souls), remembers walking from house to house in the district near the southern city of Butare, asking them if they'd like to join a farming cooperative.
Benebikira 'Sister Listeners' offer informal counseling to both victims and perpetrators of the violence during the Rwanda genocide, seeking to forge a bridge of understanding. Their roles as listeners are especially important during the anniversary of the genocide.
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