Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.
From March 8-14, we’ve been celebrating Catholic Sisters Week. We are privileged to partner with many congregations around the world who live out their charism to serve the ‘least’ of Christ’s children. We marvel each day at their dedication to prayer, which fills them with the grace and strength they need to live out their vocations through acts of service and sacrifice.
It would be impossible for us to highlight and thank each Sister fully for their work and inspiration, but this week we’ve selected our top 5 Catholic Sister photos from our sites. Each one shows how they live the Gospel through their daily activities. Inspired by the well-known passages of Matthew 25, we celebrate how Catholic Sisters saw need, stepped in and…
#5: “…and you welcomed me.”
Sr. Mary Grace is the site director for our Neema site in Tanzania and a member of the Sisters of the Visitation, a Vincentian order. She oversees the site’s sponsorship program, which includes the Neema Visitation Orphanage, which welcomes girls of all ages who stay until they can support themselves on their own. Many come back for visits when they move away, because the orphanage has always been home, and the Sisters their loving family. The orphanage includes a school and a chapel, where the girls are educated and enlightened. The Sisters support their daily meals with a garden and small animal farm.
#4: “…and you gave me something to drink.”
In this photo, Sr. Fatima lovingly offers a drink to a boy who lives at the children’s hostel attached to her convent. The Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod from our Madurai site in India care for children while they live away from home to attend school. In the evenings, they help with homework, run rec activities, lead prayer among the Christian students, and provide meals. The convent also has a fully equipped clinic where children receive health checks and treatment for mild conditions.
#3: “…and you clothed me.”
Sr. Isabel had the privilege of delivering the Mendez Enriquez brothers the gift of brand new school uniforms and shiny pairs of shoes – expensive items for struggling families near our Luis Amigo site in Guatemala. Mandatory uniforms are hard on family budgets. Not only are shoes essential for a safe and comfortable walk to and from school, but those going shoeless are more likely to get sick.
“Thanks to you I have a school uniform and a pair of shoes,” writes Roger, one of the brothers. “I thank God… because thanks to you dear donors, you gave me what I always wanted. To go to school in uniform with shoes.”
#2: “…and you looked after me.”
Sr. Merilise is a Good Shepherd Sister in Jeremie, Haiti. She was the site director of our Haiti South site for many years, and now acts as the spiritual director for the site. Her congregation’s mission is to “help many children and elderly people caught in the dehumanizing influence of extreme poverty and lack of education.”
Sr Merilise accompanied a team of Canadian healthcare workers on a medical mission to our Haiti North site in 2018. Acting as a chaplain and spiritual advisor, she prayed with the community members as they waited for their appointment with the medical staff. Her prayerful presence was as comforting as the medicine the patients received.
#1: “… and you fed me.”
The Jirapa orphanage is located near our Wa site in Ghana. The staff needed basic items to provide for the precious children in their care such as food, baby formula, firewood and diapers. Thanks to our donors, our site was able to remedy the urgency of their situation by providing the orphanage with a four-month supply of these essential daily materials.
The firewood ensured that the Sisters could prepare hot meals for the children and that the children could have hot baths. All the children received three wholesome meals a day with the food supplies and the babies had the nutritious formula they needed, which is critical for the orphanage to be able to accept infants.