National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Sisters' Stories

Letters from South Sudan

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Beginning in 2005, after decades of civil war in South Sudan, bishops of that country invited international religious communities to consider serving in South Sudan. Since that point, members of men’s and women’s congregations have been committed to a presence to support the church through the collaborative project, Solidarity with South Sudan, which prepares and supports people to respond to the immense needs there in health care, agriculture, education and parish ministry.

Sisters in Vietnam help the poor enjoy a happier lunar new year

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Thanks to the efforts of local Catholic sisters in Vietnam, HIV/AIDS patients and others in need find simple pleasures during the festival of Tet (Lunar New Year). This help comes during an especially difficult time for many Vietnamese recovering from an economic downturn in 2012.

Hai Quyen (real name withheld) in her winter clothes enthusiastically clapped in time to the music, repeating words of the song Xuan Da Ve (Spring Just Comes) while watching traditional dances performed by a group of nuns.

Women religious, indigenous peoples in solidarity on nature's rights

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At the Global Rights of Nature summit, Vandana Shiva, an internationally renowned physicist and environmental activist, led the ritual Thursday on our last morning in Otavalo, sharing some of India’s poems and hymns to Mother Earth. One began, “Whatever, I dig of you, O Earth, may that grow quickly upon you.”

Indigenous peoples work to save land from extinction

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The sun was beginning to cut the chill of the Andean morning when the group gathered around a fountain in an outdoor courtyard. This is how the summit of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature  began, with Tai Ta Carlos, an elder from this territory, leading a ceremony of thanksgiving to Pachamama, Mother Earth, for the life that sustains us.

Speaking of the damage we are doing to Earth, he said, “We must recognize that we are part of the natural world.”

Road to 'rights of nature' summit passes Earth's midpoint

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We traveled three hours by bus northeast from Quito, Ecuador, climbing winding roads up the highlands of the Andes Mountains, past craggy canyons, hillside farms and village settlements. Our destination was Otavalo, at the foot of the Imbabura volcano, where we joined nearly 50 leaders of the emergent “rights of nature” movement for a four-day global summit.

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