August 31, 2015
By Sister Barbara Ann Ozelski
Sister Barbara Ann Ozelski was born in Brooklyn, New York. Last year, she celebrated her 60th anniversary as a Sister of Mercy. For 50 of these years, she has been serving in the Republic of Panama, including teaching, helping those sick with leprosy (1964-69), serving economically poor families and the indigenous people the mountainous areas of Volcan, and serving poor mothers, children and teens in Colón, a slum city in Panama.
Within a filthy building, one of hundreds of condemned living structures in the slum city of Colón, Panama, a woman is raped. Her attacker sometimes gives food to her and her four children; for this reason, she does not dwell on the violation, as it is only one of many daily humiliations that she and her family suffer. Many single moms, with little or no income, are unable to provide food, clothing or education for their children. This is not living, but only existing, under miserable and inhuman conditions. Some have humiliated themselves to the point of prostitution in order to send their children to school. The pain is endless, yet opens a door to new beginnings. Read More