January 2017 Flashpoints

  • UNANIMA Board member for the Religious of Jesus and Mary Josée Therrien RJM reports that they have joined the Water With Blessings family! Their sisters in Aleppo, Syria are delivering filtration systems to families, in collaboration with Franciscans, Larraine Lauter OSU, and others.

We also heard from the RJM Province of Baroda, India, where the sisters work among tribal groups in about 70 villages of Panchmahal District, Gujarat State. The people are mostly illiterate migrant laborers with no means of livelihood, and the sisters have about 600 children in their school, of whom 160 are boarders. Some are orphaned street children, and the sisters presently are trying to raise money to build another school building so they can take more tribal children. The picture shows students in a computer classroom.


  • The Ursuline Sisters of Mount St. Joseph are very active in Region 6 of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, and recently signed onto two letters to oppose human trafficking and forced labor. One letter joined with the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) to request federal funding to fight trafficking and forced labor according to Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2013. The second letter addresses information technology companies about the use of forced labor and slavery by their suppliers.


  • Several Sisters of Saint Agnes who live on the USA/ Mexico border are taking action on behalf of migrants and refugees. Susan Kolb CSA (picture) is Managing Attorney of a southern Arizona legal aid office which provides civil legal services to the poor in three counties. Other Sisters work in a Migrant Resource Center (in Mexico) with migrants who have been “repatriated” – i.e., deported from the USA. This effort is a bi-national humanitarian project.

Another program launched by the CSA Sisters is in inner city                   Milwaukee Wisconsin. CORE-El Centro serves a population about           70% Latino. Many recent immigrants feel isolated. The organization aims to create access, build community,               and inspire wholeness. In addition to providing the best medical care at the Free Clinic in the facility, they also             offer acupuncture, exercise programs and massage. Through their roof-top garden they are able to teach classes           in gardening, and help with improved nutrition.