Ministries to the Earth: Sister Pat Ryan, M.M.

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“In all of Maryknoll, just as in all of creation, there are no two alike.  This diversity and the dignity of each and all are cherished as blessings…This spirit of ours is characterized by a commitment to the well being of all God’s creation.”

– Sister Pat Ryan, M.M.

 

How is Sister Pat Ryan helping the environment?

 

Did you know there is a river of burning water? It is the Condoraque River in Peru, and it is being filled by acid drainage and toxic sludge from mining activity. Sister Pat Ryan is working hard to stop environmental issues such as this and you can help too!

Sister Pat is in Peru working with the Organization for Human Rights and the Environment, offering educational services, information and legal advice, and acting with the indigenous people to defend their rights and the rights of Mother Earth. With your help, this organization, with Sister Pat, can achieve their goal to equip and empower the Aymara & Quechua native people with the understanding and skills to non-violently focus on working to curb irresponsible mining activities that disrespect indigenous people’s rights and threaten the environment and the people’s water supply in the area.

 

Remediating Environmental Damages

The Maryknoll Sisters are working to turn the tide of ecological disasters like the Condoraque River.  The river of “Burning Waters” has been poisoned by chemicals from a local mining plant, and it’s the main tributary from which Altiplano herds drink.

Sister Pat’s work with the Organization for Human Rights and the Environment has resulted in decisions that require mines to remediate the environmental damages that have already been caused in the region. But we’ve only just begun.  This work would not be possible, Sister Pat says, without the generosity of people who support her and the Maryknoll Sisters.   Our supporters help fund the costs of helping the poor of the Altiplano learn about their rights, as well as how to defend them in a non-violent manner, preserve their livelihood, and protect their land.

How can you make a difference?

Please help these Sisters in their missions, as well as all our Sisters who serve poor, oppressed and marginalized people in 24 countries around the world.

Donate Now

 

Help Give Comfort to Our Older Sisters

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Sister Rose Bernadette Gallagher and so many other older Maryknoll Sisters have made it their life’s work to bring about positive change in our world. We are so blessed to count them among our community, and we marvel at their enthusiasm for embracing new ways of ministering to God’s people.

Sister Rose Bernadette has spent decades working on behalf of women and children whose futures are not their own, giving them the tools, support and protection they need to reclaim and rebuild their lives.

“Their dignity as women was so violated; that started my passion for working with women.

Because of Sister Rose Bernadette’s passion, countless women and children will be spared lives of exploitation and violence. Because of her determination, the rest of the world is now more aware of the sad reality of human trafficking and sexual slavery.

Today, Sister Rose Bernadette and these older Sisters remain a vital part of our mission. Through a ministry of prayer, they focus their time and energy on specific countries where our Sisters are striving to make God’s love visible on a daily basis. Your gifts allow us to support and care for these ordinary women who have done – and continue to do – extraordinary things.

To learn more how you can be part of our vision for the future, please download our summer letter about our ill and elderly Sisters. Today we need your help in providing comfort and care to our older Sisters. Your gift will support these Sisters with medicine, wheelchairs, walkers, health aides, and nurses as our missioners look forward to their second century of service.

Together, We Can Make a Way

Together, We Can Make a Way

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Although we trust that our lives are in God’s hands, all of us want to feel like we have some measure of control over the day-to-day details. To be powerless to improve our own situation, to live without even basic rights and human dignity is unjust and overwhelming. And yet that is the harsh reality for the women of Namibia who have been denied a voice in their own future. They can’t even own property and are oftenvictim to domestic violence and other tragedies that are forced upon them.

“I believe this is God’s work, and God is with us, guiding us, leading us to wherever God needs us to go and this gives me joy!”

Sister Aida Manlucu, M.M, entered into this world of imbalance and injustice in 1998, when she first began serving the poor of Namibia, in particular women who are oppressed beyond imagination. In their eyes she saw a hunger for something better — for themselves and their children, but they were powerless to make a change. Sr. Aida’s ministry empowers women and gives them the tools and knowledge they need to direct their own course and step into their own lives.

By forming the Women’s Desk and serving on the Women’s Commission of the Namibian Bishops’ Conference, Sister Aida has been able to conduct workshops for local women on domestic violence, inheritance and property rights, leadership training, and HIV/AIDS.

These kinds of programs, whether in Africa, Asia, Latin America, or right here at home require resources to assist our Sisters who live among the poor they serve.

You can help continue the work and ministry of Sister Aida Manlucu by contributing to her and many other Maryknoll Sisters around the world.

A little goes a Long Way….

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Making Ends Meet

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In small-town Tanzania, jobs aren’t easy to come by. Poverty is rampant, and what businesses there are aren’t big enough to employ many people. So when Anna Mbenyeti’s husband died, she was left wondering how she would feed her six children in her isolated village near Dodoma, Tanzania. Now, years later, her start-up business is feeding many more children than that, thanks to the financial help provided by the generous friends of the Maryknoll Sisters.

It’s no secret that children like sweet snacks. Mothers, though, like nutritious foods for their kids. Anna saw that and began to market a healthy snack with the help of Sister Connie Krautkremer.

Mentored by Sr. Connie Krautkremer, Anna Mbenyeti makes healthy snacks so kids in rural Tanzania can learn.

Mentored by Sr. Connie Krautkremer, Anna Mbenyeti makes healthy snacks so kids in rural Tanzania can learn.
Mentored by Sr. Connie Krautkremer, Anna Mbenyeti makes healthy snacks so kids in rural Tanzania can learn.

Anna knew that she could bake, and that was the seed from which her idea grew. She asked herself what she could bake that was quick and easy–and delicious for the kids who milled about on the street corners after school. Anna got the idea of making mandazi, an East African snack of fried dough that kids couldn’t get enough of. What’s more, customers could eat them without a fork and knife.

At first, Anna’s income was small. Anna’s small business seemed destined to stay that way as it paid the bills–yet only barely. Anna only had to look in front of her to find a clientele that would keep coming back for more. And they did.

Her best customers turned out to be local children from the school nearby. Where else could they get home-cooking that was hot and ready to eat right from the roadside where Anna had her stand.

“Instead of buying sweets like candy, they buy these healthy snacks,” says Sister Connie. Though Anna’s fresh-baked treats are mildly sweet, they’re not nearly as sugar-heavy as processed foods. Ingredients such as coconut milk, peanuts, and almonds in mandazionly add to the nutrition value of the snacks. So Sister Connie was pleased to approve Anna’s request for a loan that was needed so she could expand her business.

With a small no-interest loan Anna received from Sister Connie’s Hope for Widows Fund, Anna has been able to finally see success after all these years. Anna was able to make more of the snacks that keep children racing to her, and the boys and girls from the school are only too glad to hand over what spare change they had in their pockets. Anna also used part of the loan money to buy containers that would protect her treats from flies and keep them fresh for an entire day.

Sister Connie knows that Anna’s success means no worries that the loan will be repaid: “It is helpful to Anna that there is enough time to repay the loan, and there is no interest,” Sister Connie says. For Anna, the project was a godsend because on her own, she likely would not have been able to get a loan.

Because people generously donated to the Maryknoll Sisters, families like Anna’s can grow and prosper in ways that meet the needs of everyone in their communities.

Orphaned by AIDS, Rescued by Love

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Orphan – we know that reality: no parents. But in Zimbabwe, they use the phrase double orphan to describe a very hard reality. Having one parent is hard; having no parents, almost unbearable.

No one has suffered more than children as Zimbabwe was ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. Many children have lost both parents to AIDS, and their relatives are often too poor or too sick to care for them adequately. As a result, these little ones spend their days trying to survive, and many of them don’t. Even if they do manage to stay alive, their day-to-day lives are filled with desperation, fear, violence and abuse.

But Sister Mary Frances Kobets, M.M., (above left) and the staff of the Orphans, Education, and Agricultural Support (OEAS) program in Zimbabwe are working hard each day to ensure that Emmanuel and hundreds of other orphans no longer have to fend for themselves. Recently, schoolchildren in the project benefited when their dilapidated classroom received new chalkboards from Sister Frances and the OEAS program.

“We want to make sure the children know that somebody cares about them, that God loves them, that no matter what has been put into their daily lives, they are not forgotten.”

As with so many other ministries around the world, the greatest challenge for OEAS of course, is funding. In almost every office and region, we have had to drastically cut budgets to make ends meet. As you can imagine, budgets don’t get cut without sacrifices. In this case, a sacrifice might mean a child in Africa doesn’t get the medical assistance he or she needs to survive, or a community in Latin America will not have access to clean water, or victims of human trafficking in Asia may never escape the violence and indignity that mark their daily lives. That is where you can help.

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No one has suffered more than children as east Africa was ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. Together with our partners, Maryknoll Sisters are there for these orphans.

Can you give our Sisters the resources they need to provide concrete assistance, practical support, spiritual guidance, and unconditional love to the people they serve? For those in need — an orphaned child, a lonely widow, a frightened woman, a man trying to support his family — hearing a message of love and hope and possibility is the greatest gift they may ever receive. You can send that message.

“When a donation comes in, it is used right away. It goes to the greatest need. The gifts we receive keep children in school.”

 

Sister Training

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Answering God’s call to religious life is just the first step in a journey toward becoming Maryknoll Sisters.  Women who embark on this spiritual journey spend years in preparation – training for their prospective ministries, learning new languages, adapting to challenges in cross-cultural communities, and grounding themselves in the foundations of faith that will serve as the driving force behind all they do.

Missioners in Progress

Like many missioners before them, these two women have been called to join the Maryknoll Sisters.  They are in the midst of their training and education, where years of study and sacrifice will prepare them to enter fully into the challenges that influence their community, ministry and mission.

We can’t do it without your help

Your gifts provide our Sisters with education, lanaguage training, practical support, and everything else they need to go out and serve the poorest of the poor.

Sister Susan Wanzagi, M.M.Sister Susan Wanzagi, M.M., entered Maryknoll during our Centennial Year, 2012.  A native of Tanzania, she has worked in several ministries, including prison ministry and at a school for the deaf.  This fall, after she completes her studies in Scripture, theology and religious life, she will be given a mission assignment.

Sister Mara Rutten, M.M.Sister Mara Rutten, M.M., was the 3,500th candidate to enter Maryknoll when she joined us after earning her doctorate in 2013.  Before entering Maryknoll Sisters, she lived with several of our Sisters serving in Cambodia. “There I witnessed Matthew 25 in action: feeding the hungry, giving shelter to the homeless, caring for the sick, and visiting those in prison as well as educating the poor, working with the deaf, and helping women and children escape the clutches of sex trafficking.” She has a year and a half to go before she receives her mission assignment.

The cost of education, housing, medical care, transportation, food, clothing, supplies and more are skyrocketing every day for all our Sisters.  For some of our  new Sisters, a decision to enter Maryknoll also means a strenuous effort to pay off student loans they need to go forward.

Can you help our Sisters
further their education in mission and further the plan
that Jesus himself set in motion?

Project Life

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Pope Francis speaks of the importance of this kind of love and service:
“Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others…to enter the reality of other people’s lives and know the power of tenderness.”

Through your support of our ministries in Guatemala and around the world, you can enter into that reality and show the power of tenderness to those who have been abandoned, oppressed, shunned, and forgotten.

St. Mary’s Hospice 

Estelle, who has HIV, came to St. Mary’s because no hospital would take her.
Estelle, who has HIV, came to St. Mary’s because no hospital would take her.

Through St. Mary’s HIV Hospice Center, Maryknoll Sisters Delia Marie (Dee) Smith and Marlene Condon are caring for those who have been rejected by their own communities, sometimes even by their own families. In our ministries, in our community, there are no outcasts. Every person is recognized as a child of God, and treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Our programs reach about 500,000 people in fhe Southwest region of Guatemala, serving people with HIV and special needs, such as nutritional deficits, beginners with antiretroviral treatments or those who have been abandoned by their family.

Project Life (Proyecto Vida)

Sister Dee’s caring led her to found Project Life, which is the umbrella organization encompassing St. Mary’s Hospice. This project offers literacy classes, transportation to doctors, and even basic farming opportunities, such as growing healthy food, raising chickens, and keeping bees.

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Funding

We have to raise over 60% of our funding privately to support the hospice, which serves people with HIV and special needs, such as nutritional deficits, beginners with antiretroviral treatments, or those who have been abandoned by their family. Your support helps raise the additional 40% needed to continue saving lives.

Through your support of our ministries in Guatemala and around the world, you  show the power of love to those who have been abandoned, oppressed, shunned and forgotten.

Please help us replace rejection and despair with healing and hope by donating to the Maryknoll Sisters.

God bless you always.

The Power of Human Touch to Heal and Transform
Can never be Underestimated