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Conversations with Sr. Camille

Gospel passage inspires retiree to volunteer on both coasts

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About 20 years ago, my students in the TV department of Brooklyn College invited the late Fr. Jim Harvey and Michael Moran as guests on a program on homelessness. Two memories stand out. Jim, who worked with street kids and prisoners, described his experience of spending a week living in Manhattan without money or identification. He begged so he could eat, and he slept in the underground network hidden from the eyes of those on the city streets and in office buildings. When I asked Jim what he learned, he answered: "Hunger really, really hurts."

Woman helps family, friends of murder victims gain control of their lives

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I met Vilma Torres a dozen years ago in an arena of enormous sufferings. The Cherish Life Circle, which the Sisters of Mercy founded in Brooklyn in 1993 to oppose capital punishment, holds a separate, annual service for families of murder victims. When Vilma learned of this endeavor, she, on behalf of Safe Horizon, offered to help us. And she has every year since, providing indispensable assistance. We know her as a competent, caring provider of services to individuals suffering the greatest of losses in violent situations. Over these many years, I've never asked what drew her into this work. I think this conversation is long overdue.

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