Liberians go to the polls today (Tuesday, Oct. 10) to elect a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who led the West African country out of the depths of a 14-year civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of Liberians. Five of the dead were our own U.S. Sisters, Barbara Ann Muttra, Mary Joel Kolmer, Shirley Kolmer, Agnes Mueller and Kathleen McGuire, who were killed 25 years ago this month. We sent some of our Adorer family to visit Liberia earlier this year. Here’s a remembrance of the experience from one of them.
Our Sisters have plenty to say about President Trump’s recent decision to rescind DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — that protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children. The matter is now left to Congress, but with hurricane relief, tax reform and everything else on its plate, can Congress act in time?
We’re posting some thoughts and concerns (in this order) from Sisters Maria Hughes, Kris Schrader, and Bernadine Wessel.
Sister Ann Fearday has been walking the Camino since Easter Sunday, and finally arrived with “tears in my eyes” at Santiago de Compostela on Day 32 of her pilgrimage.
Her happy words:
Today, we walked triumphantly into Santiago with our backpacks. I had tears in my eyes when I saw the spires of the Cathedral. We stood in line at the pilgrim office to receive our “compostela,” the document verifying we had walked the Camino.
I am very proud of this document and will be very happy to show it to you next time I see you.
By Cheryl Wittenauer
We go in twos to try to understand the impact of the five.
Two Adorers, two ASC Associates and two Newman University students are traveling to Liberia on a pilgrimage that marks the 25th anniversary of the death of our five missionary sisters in October 1992.
Two were ambushed on a road they traveled on Oct. 20 that year. Three others were shot to death three days later in front of their convent.
For long-suffering Liberians,
With Korea very much in the news, we turn to Sister Bernadine Wessel, ASC, who worked there from 1977 to 2013, teaching conversational English to children and adults; translating for migrant workers and encouraging them; and working with children.
By Sister Bernadine Wessel, ASC
We in the West are accustomed to hearing the terms North and South Korea, a division that occurred at the end of World War II.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, Korea was under the control of Japan, which tried to make Korea and Koreans Japanese.
Twenty kilometers a day. 70 years old. Traveling the Way of St. James in Spain. Next week I begin my pilgrimage.
The Way of St. James was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages, together with those to Rome and Jerusalem.
Legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried in what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.
By Sister Anita Fearday, ASC
I often have thought of life as a pilgrimage, especially when I am in touch with a yearning, a hunger, a desire for something more in life.
For 70 years, I have been on the way to a more abundant life, but I have not yet reached the pot of gold of John 10, 10 (“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”)
As I mark my 70 years of life and 50 years as a Sister,
By Sr. JoAnn Mark, ASC
A little more than a year ago, I moved from my university job at Newman University in Wichita, Kan., to run an NGO (non-governmental organization) in New York. In my work for Partnership for Global Justice, I frequently attend meetings at the United Nations.
You get numb to them after a while. But one particular meeting in March left me feeling overwhelmed. The topic was the inhumane treatment of women and girls, including rape and sexual violence in war.
I came to understand that sexual violence, unlike torture,
By Sister Bernadine Wessel, ASC
The people. The relationships formed by living, working, struggling, crying, laughing and praying together… that’s what I miss most about Korea.
I spent time with so many different kinds of people during my 36 years ministering in Korea, and they each taught me lessons that broadened my worldview and formed me into the person I am today.
I spent the longest period of time in Korea ministering at Blessed Mother daycare/kindergarten. My years of teaching previously in the States had been mostly in the middle grades. In Korea,
By Sr. Janet McCann, ASC
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Acuto, Italy, where my community, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, was founded by St. Maria De Mattias in 1834. (Learn more about the Adorers’ foundress and history here.)
I was there to help review proposals for funding formation and ministry projects for Adorers throughout the world, and to disburse funding. But I also found time to enjoy the beauty all around those of us gathered at the meeting.
The visit offered lots of contrasting images: