Seeking the Heart of the World
We must always be attentive to the needs God is calling us to fill. Over the decades those most in need have changed and will continue to do so. Education of the young was a pressing need for many years, and we heard that call and responded to it in massive numbers. But as the public school system arose many of those needs began to be addressed in new ways, and so we discerned new ministries where our sisters and brothers were in need of help, support, protection, or simply kindness.
Today, our ministries take on many forms and, like the disciples of the early Church, we often work in small groups tending to the care of those in our world who are hurting in some way. Our works cover a broad swath of human experience. Those which are most active today include:
The displaced – Sadly in today’s world those most in danger of abuse, poverty, and human trafficking (modern-day slavery) tend to be women and children. We work with many like minded organizations around the world to help bring these tragic practices to an end by enacting laws, crafting international treaties, and raising awareness of this brutal reality.
The imprisoned – Our penitentiaries are overcrowded and those confined are not always those who are guilty. Even those who are guilty, even of horrible crimes, are still God’s children and as such are worthy of human dignity and compassion. We minister to these (mostly) men, helping them see that despite their circumstances, their choices, or their future prospects there is Hope for them yet. They are human beings and the work of God’s hands. As such they are deserving of love, and we make certain they know that.
The foreigners – The migrant population in the US is invisible to most of us. Yet it is these very people upon whom we rely to do work which many of us would not do. They form the foundation upon which we base our food supply, or hospitality industry, or manufacturing capabilities. We provide much needed support for these “working poor”, helping find jobs, learning English, providing child care and more.
The poor – Our Sisters have been long time inhabitants of Haiti, working with the poorest of the poor in a land which has been ravaged by natural disaster, governmental corruption, and international neglect. Working with local churches and schools we provide much needed food and a means of distributing it to the children and their families.
The oppressed – Our Sisters in Cameroon work within a country torn by political factions and teetering on the brink of civil war. Violence and cruelty are becoming increasingly common place as we provide medical help and protection for those who are sick or injured. Our schools help educate the children of various tribes, including those who are least valued and looked down upon as being worthy only of slavery.
The infirm – As our population, and the sisters themselves, ages their needs for medical, physical and psychological help grows. The Sisters care for those who are nearing the latter part of their journey with kindness, joy, and compassion. Our seniors have amassed great wisdom and experience, and many have achieved wonderful things in their long lives. Companionship during these final stages is critical to help the elderly prepare for a peaceful and hopeful eternity with God.
We continue to be alert to the needs of the world and to discern God’s plan for us where we can help bring about peace, reduce suffering, or provide companionship to those who need it most.