Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Welcome, Sisters Georgina, Jenna and Truc!

A hearty welcome to the Daughters of Charity to the U.S.'s newest Sisters! Three of our Postulants became Sisters on the Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul last weekend, appropriately.

Sister Georgina and Sister Truc were incorporated into the Company in the Province of the West. They're making their way to St. Louis for Seminary!

Sister Jenna is now a member of the Province of St. Louise and will join her two new Sisters for Seminary.

We're praying for you, Sisters! Your smiles and hearts have already brought joy to many of us.

>See more photos on our Facebook Page.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Learning So Much

Sister Mary Louise Stubbs is a Daughter of Charity and executive director of Daughters of Charity International Project Services. She shares a bit about what she does and what she's learned since joining the ministry.

You never know what adventuresome ministry you'll be invited to as a Daughter of Charity!

On a cold February day, seven months ago, I began my orientation to Daughters of Charity International Project Services. This "program" is essentially a "back office service" for the Daughters on an international level--working with the Econome (treasurer) Generale to help find resources for the ministries of Sisters in developing and impoverished countries.

There is a small but mighty DCIPS team, well prepared by the expertise and organizational skills of my predecessor, Sister Felicia, who continue to teach and support me. What we do is basically simple: Daughters of Charity in eligible countries assess the needs and goals of the people they serve, identify what would be helpful in their service and apply for assistance. Our team then seeks money from donors and foundations to fund those projects and receives reports on their progress.

...and I have learned so much.

I've learned leadership can come from anywhere with a swift flexibility that responds to looming and diverse needs. For the Sisters working in extreme poverty situations, "systemic change at the grassroots level" is a reality, not just a platitude. The local people and Sisters identify the needs and their vision and then they create inventive responses on the local level which often are models for global approaches to the vectors of poverty.

DCIPS is privileged to be a conduit for resources for such projects. My first few months here have revealed it is a small world after all! I've met Daughters of Charity from around the world (via email and web) and shared their realities and goals by helping them address the needs of their ministries.

From our humble office in Southfield, Mich., we witness issues such as people in West Africa crippled with fear of the deadly Ebola virus; handicapped children captive in their wheelchairs during rocket assaults; women without prenatal care whose babies are born with preventable health issues; refugees living on the streets without basic necessities; devastating natural disasters; lack of access to effective and proven medical prevention and treatment; young girls forced into early marriages; slave labor and harmful traditional practices that violate their rights and their bodies; and children who die because they do not have food, clean water or the most basic health care.

What I now see is change happening around the world very rapidly and that each of us have opportunities to be a part of activities that will produce positive outcomes. This isn't the time to watch and wait, because action is needed now. Resources and support are needed right now--and prayer is needed for its power to unite people globally and to both decrease human suffering and increase human potential.

On behalf of our Sisters and the people in countries who work continually to rise above harsh difficulties, the IPS team invites you, your family and friends to join in prayer and support for issues and projects found on our website.

All photos courtesy of Daughters of Charity International Project Services

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Holy Hangout Highlights: What We Do for Fun!

We take our calling as Daughters of Charity very seriously, but we're also firm believers in having some fun!

Our most recent Holy Hangout focused on the fun stuff: how we spend our free time, some of the things Sisters get to do together, and what some of us do on our own time. Our host Sister Liz shared along with Sister Mary Catherine Warehime, Sister Anne Marie Lamoureux, Sister Marie Rachelle Cruz, Sister Chris Maggi and Sister Lisa Laguna.

Still have questions? Ask us here in the comments or use #HolyHangoutDC on Twitter.

Watch highlights from the chat here:
Watch all of the Holy Hangout here:
Watch our other Holy Hangouts here on our YouTube channel.

Visit the new vocations website for event information.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Week of Hope

Sister Meg Kymes, D.C., shares about the Provincial Assembly for the Province of St. Louise-USA.

Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to gather with more than 270 of my Sisters in St. Louis for my first Provincial Assembly. We all gathered for a week to discern what direction our Province as well as the worldwide Daughters of Charity community needed to focus on for the next six years. We spent time in reflection and prayer to help us be more open to the Holy Spirit's voice among us.

Coming to this Assembly, many of my Sisters had been through a very difficult time. The community had just closed multiple missions this year. We were able to celebrate all that has been accomplished at those missions and lift up in prayer our partners in mission and the poor we had served whom we left behind, being able to lift up our losses to the Lord and allow His presence to heal those wounds. After letting go of our losses, we were able to look at the future of our Province.

As I journeyed through this meeting with my Sisters, I knew the Holy Spirit was with us. Our shared insights were honest and personal while remaining focused on the greater good of our community. We were able to reflect on what was the core of our identity and build that into our ideas for our future. Even in times of relaxation and meals together, there was a sense of joy in being with each other. We were able to enjoy time with old friends while building new friendships with Sisters we did not know as well. The whole experience of our Provincial Assembly brought me back to why I became a Daughter of Charity and gave me great hope for the future of our community.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Greetings from Lukolela

Sister Mary Felice shares an update about her ministry in Lukolela in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

I have been in Lukolela for nine months now. We don’t have Internet access there thus I have lost touch with many people. I am now at our Provincial House in Mbandaka and the Internet is working, so I am taking advantage of the situation! ...
In Lukolela we have a 128-bed hospital. We have 4.5 doctors and we recently hired another. Sister Marie Cecile is the medical director. She is 74 years old, from Italy, and has been in the Congo I believe more than 40 years! Our hospital has the usual departments: internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, an emergency room and laboratory. Each doctor has the responsibility of a department – mine is internal medicine, where we have 30 beds. Besides doing rounds in our department we also take turns covering the emergency room, we each have one day per week in the operating room, and we take turns being on call at night. Myself and Sister Marie Cecile also do ultrasounds and we may be sending another doctor to be trained. We treat much malaria, typhoid, malnutrition, HIV, tuberculosis, amebiasis, filariosis, hypertension and trauma.

One of our largest challenges since I have been here is a lack of physicians because we are rarely all present, thus those who are must be on call frequently at night and the days are busy. I continue to pray that it will improve. I also continue to hope that one day we will have Internet access!

We have nine Sisters in our community in Lukolela and one postulant. We also have a school.

... I am including some photos from our hospital. I left unexpectedly early, thus I did not have the occasion to take specific photos to send but I’m sending some nonspecific photos I took earlier of patients – a young woman with malnutrition and diabetes, a child with an eye injury, of family members collecting water falling from the roof, and some goats seeking shelter from the rain, outside internal medicine department.

We are a reference hospital for a large rural area. There are health centers located in some of the small villages that give basic care, but when something is beyond them they refer it to us, thus many of our patients come from far, by bicycle, taxi, motorcycle or by the river in a pirogue. (We are located on the Congo River.) Our operating room is quite busy with appendectomies, hernia operations, cesareans, gynecologic surgeries and bowel perforations from typhoid. We also do many blood transfusions, especially for children, because of the anemia caused by malaria (secondary to hemolysis).

Love, Sister Mary