Life for children whose parents migrate to Vietnam's capital to make a living re-selling leftover produce, fish and plastic bags usually does not include formal education, but since 2010, the Dominican Missionary Sisters of Phu Cuong have been helping some attain literacy and move on to public schools. Their Binh An (Peace) Development Center in Ho Chi Minh City currently provides free education for 316 children, ages 5 to 15.
We recently attended the Parliament of the World's Religions with more than 7,500 other delegates from 80 countries, representing approximately 200 indigenous, spiritual and religious traditions. One could feel the spiritual power and love vibrating as we greeted and talked to fellow participants. The theme of this Parliament was "Promise of inclusion — the power of love —pursuing global understanding, reconciliation and change."
"How do we heal as a community?" the rabbi asked in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. We come together, we stand together, we march together, knowing that our task is to "repair" the world.
The proclivity to overlook black women and girls doesn't begin with their deaths at the hands of law enforcement. Data suggests institutions like hospitals and schools have routinely disregarded the needs of black women and black girls for years. And that's exactly where some sisters in the Baltimore area have seen an opportunity for change.
The city of Patna, India, has committed itself to creating a "Smart City," and the government is accusing certain city residents of "encroachment" to conceal its real hidden agenda of pushing out the impoverished and homeless. They have chosen the development of land over the development of a people.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, formally approved Dec. 10, 1948, in part as response to World War II, is a foundation for much of the advocacy work that religious congregations working at the United Nations do. But human rights defenders and advocates, including Catholic sisters who represent their congregations at the United Nations, say the commitment to uphold the rights enshrined in the document is under threat.
Wearing orange on the 25th of every month is a practice followed by a number of sisters and staff of the Religious of the Good Shepherd, Province of the Philippines-Japan. But on Nov. 25, Good Shepherd-run institutions and centers in the Philippines were ablaze in orange to commemorate the start of the 18-day anti-violence against women campaign.
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.
Sr. Agatha Chikelue started thinking about how to build bridges between Christians and Muslims in 2008, as northern Nigeria disintegrated into violence. Nigeria's population is evenly divided with 48 percent Muslims and 49 percent Christians, who commonly avoid direct contact with each other. Since starting in 2011, the Women of Faith Peacebuilding Network's activities have reached more than 10,000 Muslim and Christian women across the country through seminars, meditations, presentations by religious leaders, and dialogue.
When locals refused to rent to the Holy Spirit Sisters for a support center for people living with HIV/AIDS, the sisters instead set it up on the campus of their high school, St. Raphael's. In the past 15 years, the center, called Vishwas (meaning "trust"), has helped more than 5,000 HIV-positive people lead normal lives, and has effected change in perception about the disease.
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