Search Results for: Community – CCASA

Are We Pregnant With The Future?

August 14, 2019

By Sister Angelina Mitre

On the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Bible readings present the image of a woman who is pregnant and about to give birth to a baby. In the apocalypse, the woman must flee so that the baby doesn’t perish and be devoured by the dragon. We are represented in these women who, in their communities, suffer labor pains so that a new way of relating and living can be born.

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¿Estamos Preñadas De Futuro?

August 14, 2019

Por Hermana Angelina Mitre

En la Festividad de la Asunción de la Virgen María las lecturas bíblicas nos presentan la imagen de la mujer preñada y a punto de dar a luz al niño. En el apocalipsis esta mujer tiene que huir para que el niño no perezca, no sea devorado por el Dragón. Estamos representadas en estas mujeres que en sus pueblos sufren los dolores de parto para que nazca una manera distinta de relacionarnos, de vivir.

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Victor Walks Again!

October 27, 2017

By Sister Eva Lallo

Casa Corazón de la Misericordia, a ministry sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, is an orphanage for children and teens living with HIV/AIDS in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

When Victor came to Casa Corazón, his legs were malformed. The doctors said that at birth he had a stroke which affected his legs, possibly due to the fact that he was born with HIV.

As he grew he tried to walk and even run, always on his toes. Eventually it became so difficult that he had to hang on to things in order to walk or even stand without falling. He valiantly tried to keep up with the other kids at Casa Corazón, but eventually he became confined to a wheelchair, where it seemed he would spend the rest of his life.

We finally found a surgeon wiling to perform the special surgery that would straighten Victor’s legs so that he could walk freely and upright. Thanks to an anonymous donor, we were able to pay for the operation.

We are so happy to say that Victor is out of his wheelchair, walking tentatively, his legs straight and feet firmly planted on the floor.

We here at Casa—Sisters of Mercy, staff and the other kids—are Victor’s only family. His mom and dad are gone, and we are not aware of any extended family. But Victor is a fighter! Having lived thus far through the stress of being HIV positive, he is now determined to walk again.

His next challenge is to run and to play football, the favorite sport in Honduras, with the other kids at Casa Corazón. (Here in the United States we call the sport soccer!)

Learn more about Casa Corazón.

¡Víctor camina de nuevo!

October 27, 2017

Por la Hermana Eva Lallo

La Casa Corazón de la Misericordia, un ministerio patrocinado por las Hermanas de la Misericordia, es un orfanato para niños, niñas y adolescentes que viven con VIH / SIDA en San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Cuando Víctor llegó a la Casa Corazón, sus piernas estaban malformadas. Los médicos dijeron que al nacer sufrió un derrame cerebral que afectó sus piernas, posiblemente debido al hecho de que nació con el VIH.

Mientras crecía intentó caminar e incluso correr, siempre de puntillas. Eventualmente se hizo tan difícil que tuvo que aferrarse a las cosas para caminar o incluso pararse sin caer. Intentó valientemente estar a la altura de los otros niños de la Casa Corazón, pero finalmente se quedó postrado en una silla de ruedas, donde parecía que pasaría el resto de su vida.

Finalmente encontramos un cirujano listo para realizar la cirugía especial que enderezaría las piernas de Víctor para que pudiera caminar libremente y en posición vertical. Gracias a un donante anónimo, pudimos pagar la operación.

Estamos muy contentas de decir que Víctor ya no está en su silla de ruedas, camina tímidamente, con las piernas rectas y los pies firmemente plantados en el piso.

Aquí, en la Casa, las Hermanas de la Misericordia, el personal y los otros niños somos la única familia de Víctor. Su madre y su padre se han ido, y no le conocemos ningún otro familiar. ¡Pero Víctor es un luchador! Habiendo vivido hasta ahora la tensión de ser VIH positivo, ahora está decidido a caminar de nuevo.

Su próximo desafío es correr y jugar al fútbol, ​​el deporte favorito en Honduras, con los otros niños en la Casa Corazón.

Conozca más sobre la Casa Corazón.

My Students #MakeMercyReal to Me

September 20, 2017

By Meg, Mercy candidate

Meg is a Mercy candidate—one of the steps to become a Sister of Mercy—living in Guyana.

Meg (left) with Sister Sarita Vasquez during a retreat for new members in Belize.

Throughout my journey as a candidate in the past year, I have been touched and humbled by Mercy in many ways. The primary way has been through my students. I teach science at a public secondary school which takes in many of the lowest performing students in the area. A majority of these students come from broken homes, and most already feel defeated in their ability to succeed in life before they step into the school compound. Their lack of confidence and insecurity with academics contributes to some very interesting behaviors in the classroom.

I entered this ministry coming from an experience of teaching at a private, Catholic high school which served students from a middle-to-upper economical background. My experiences and expectations of teaching in a secondary school were deeply challenged by this new ministry, which called me to step into the shoes of my students. Sometimes, I didn’t even know where to begin this process of stepping into their shoes; it was so different from my realities! However, as I began to ask my students about their interests, their families, their homes and their dreams, I got a better glimpse of their lives. The common theme among most students was a lack of stability in their homes and a lack of people to serve as positive role models in their lives. Many had failed in school so many times that by this point in their education, they did not feel competent at anything, and, in a way, believed they never could be.   Read More »

The Evolution of Guyana’s First Safe House for Trafficking Victims

January 30, 2017

By Sister Judith Schmelz

Sister Judith Schmelz sits with the First Lady of Guyana, Sandra Granger

Sister Judith Schmelz, left, with Sandra Granger, the First Lady of Guyana.

The story begins in late 2012 when the Sisters of Mercy chose human trafficking as a major social issue to be addressed, and the Sisters of Mercy in Guyana began looking for ways that they could contribute to this effort.

Trafficking In Persons (TIP) is not readily observed; there was nothing in the daily newspapers; and at that time the administration of Guyana consistently denied to the public that there was a trafficking problem.

While we were trying to learn more about the issue, a large article appeared in the newspaper featuring Simona Broomes, founder and president of the Guyana Women Miners Organization (GWMO), and that organization’s focus on trafficking, especially in the Interior. The Interior—a heavily forested area—serves as the home to many gold mines and scattered villages of Amerindians, the indigenous people of Guyana. Maybe by chance, maybe through God’s intervention, we met Simona at the airport in Guyana—and the story took off from there!   Read More »

Expressions of Easter: The Woman on the Train

May 13, 2016

By Sister Moira Flynn

This is the last in our series of Easter reflections. Read the whole series here.

 

photo-1442570356633-6f94cdd73a48I would like to share an experience I had yesterday. It involved the serious problem affecting so many public and private employees left without work in Buenos Aires, Argentina, given our government’s harsh neoliberal policies.

I was traveling by train from Bella Vista to the capital, Buenos Aires. It was the second time I have seen women bent over in their seats, sniffling and trying their best to hide their tears; but we, the rest of us, can tell the feeling of uneasiness that overwhelms and unites us emotionally.   Read More »

Women in a World in Need of Mercy

April 15, 2016

By Sister Judith Schmelz

Sister Judith Schmelz, a Sister of Mercy from Baltimore, Maryland, currently ministers in Guyana. Recently she gave the following reflection at the Sisters of Mercy Latin America and Caribbean Conference in Panama.

Sister Judith Schmelz

Sister Judith Schmelz

I have always loved being a Sister of Mercy. God’s mercy is above all God’s works. It is, in a sense, God’s name; it is who and what God is. And like Jesus, we are God’s merciful love made flesh—expressions of God’s infinite, unconditional, forgiving, passionate love for us. Catherine McAuley [founder of the Sisters of Mercy] somehow grasped intuitively that mercy is a gift given in response to need, neither earned nor deserved. She knew that rendering the merciful service was not an act of beneficence, but one of gratitude to God for mercy received.

In my early years in community, “mercy” was largely synonymous with “ministry”—the good works that we did, God’s mercy filling us and flowing out from us to others. And while that is still true, the focus has shifted. Gradually systemic change and action for justice became much more important in our lives, but even truth and justice are not enough; we are invited to go further. God is always calling us.

I think that never before has our world been more in need of God’s mercy. Never has there been more to fear. Never has change taken place at such a dizzying rate. Never has it required more courage to follow the path of mercy, to love our enemies and to do good to those who persecute us. I think of the people in ISIS who are chopping heads off of those who disagree with them and the challenge that poses. Do we believe that allowing our hearts to be broken, that truly making the world’s pain our own, is what God is inviting us to? When we no longer reach out to the poor, but have become one of them, will we finally recognize that we, too, are powerless and can do nothing, be nothing, without God? Will we then be able to turn all our fears over to this merciful God? God’s call is mysterious; it comes in the darkness of faith. And the most serious call of our lives, I believe, is our call to contemplation, when God says to us, “It is not just your acts and deeds I want; I want your prayer, your love, your whole heart.” We are called to be one with this merciful God!

Fear is all pervasive in Guyana these days—the violence, the murders, the human trafficking, the injustices. At times I ask myself, why do I stay? And I have to answer with another question: why is my life more valuable, more precious than theirs, those who can’t leave who are most vulnerable and most in need of God’s mercy?

And yet, in spite of all the violence and evil, there is so much beauty on our little planet, our home, to take delight in, to enjoy, to cherish and protect. In Guyana I think of the brilliant sunshine, ocean breezes, flowers everywhere, the immense fertility of the soil, and above all in the beauty of the people who are so welcoming and loving, so ready to open their hearts and their homes to those who have less than they, and in the joy and exuberance with which they dance and celebrate. I know I am the poor one, poor and needy, yet rich beyond imagining. I am the one receiving, more than dispensing, God’s merciful love.

Technology is an interesting example of evolution in our culture. Jesus spoke of the fisherman’s net that gathered us all in, and I think God sometimes uses the electronic net to draw us to himself and bind us to one another. One click, and I can be connected with you at the other end of the world, and the space between us shrinks. We are so easily connected with our sisters and can be aware, almost instantaneously, of their crises, their successes, their natural disasters, who is sick, who is dying, who needs our prayers and whatever material resources we can share. We are able to extend our mercy to one another.

I believe that “mercy” is more and more coming to define in a profound way who we are, the women we want to become. God is at work, gradually shaping the way our community will be mercy in the days ahead. Let us walk together, then, knowing that “it is in God’s mercy that we live and breathe and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

Semana Santa de 2016: Caminar con Jesús

March 23, 2016

Por la Hermana Deborah Watson

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A medida que la Semana Santa se acerca, la Iglesia nos exige caminar siguiendo los pasos de Jesús y me invita a reflexionar sobre cómo ese caminar ha evolucionado en mi propia vida.

Volviendo a los días de mi juventud, al crecer en una parroquia irlandesa capuchina de California, la Semana Santa significaba procesiones: Domingo de Ramos, Jueves Santo, incluso el Viernes Santo en la «antigua» liturgia de la década de los años 50. Estas siempre fueron demostraciones de fe, de carácter formal, serias, «dentro de la Iglesia». Y si bien, recordada como la oportunidad para la clase del año anterior de vestirse otra vez en su traje de Primera Comunión, estos fueron encuentros de devoción y profundamente personales con Jesús en su pasión.   Read More »

Waking Up in Honduras

January 22, 2016

By Sister Deborah Kern

Members of the delegation to Honduras with youth from Casa Alianza, a program that works with youth on the streets.

Members of the delegation to Honduras with youth from Casa Alianza, a program that works with youth on the streets.

For several years I have wanted to visit and listen to the stories and experiences of some of the people who touch Mercy through our sisters in Honduras. In December 2015, I was able to make that visit as part of a six-day delegation, organized through the Institute Justice Office.

Simply, this visit changed my life. I “woke up” in Honduras! Now that I am awake, everything looks different.

In the United States we hear countless news stories of drugs, violence and guns in Central America. We hear that women and children, fleeing the terror of ruthless criminals, are a threat to our national security. We are told that the U.S. military presence in Central America is an effort to protect U.S. citizens from violence and the social deterioration of drugs. In the voices of the people of Honduras I heard the rest of the story.    Read More »