Young people often ask what it is I like most about being Ursuline. One thing that’s highest on my list is our internationality. When there are urgent needs in other countries, I often know real people affected or involved in response efforts. To me, that’s an awesome thing. Here are a few examples from just the last few months:
From an Ursuline in Austria helping refugees: “I am sending photos so you can see what our schools have done with the money your schools sent. There is one of a mother and her children in bed. This is because the girl got completely ‘new legs’. She had to learn how to walk with them. During her time in Syria her school was bombed and she lost her legs. She started in our school last September. With the gift money, they bought the most important things for school: bags, books, pencils . . . ”
From Peru, where our sisters are working with flood victims: “Peru is facing one of the strongest devastations seen in recent decades. Rains, floods and landslides have affected 20 of the country’s 25 regions. These have left families homeless or with damaged houses, isolated cities, damaged or destroyed roads, lost cultivation areas and crops. It is a continuous storm that makes its way through our cities, destroying or damaging everything in its path. It seems as if Jesus is asleep and His disciples try to stay on course.”
And from Venezuela, where Ursulines live among an oppressed people: “The Venezuelan opposition continues to reject the rupture of the constitutional order and the national constituent assembly. Since the middle of April, violence and repression have increased considerably; 95 deaths have been registered in 80 days of conflict; more than 3,000 have been injured by various means – by shooting, water cannon and asphyxiation by tear gas. At least 250 civilians have been processed through military courts, violating due process and international standards of human rights.”
Jesus is not asleep, my Sisters. He is in the boat with you, and we are, too!