We are Sisters, associates and volunteers, impelled by the love of Christ, promoting the dignity and equality of women and the oppressed in Church and society.
After the floods, SCN relief efforts in the District of Surkhet continue
In August the District of Surkhet where Sisters work in ministry, was the hardest hit by extremely heavy Nepal rains. Many people were killed when flash floods triggered by incessant rains for two days swept away scores of houses in various parts of the Surkhet district, with the flood waters inundating several settlements.
In the photos, SCNs and the staff of Navjyoti Center in Birendranagar, travel to all parts of the local district to distribute food, clothing, and daily necessities.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth are collecting donations for the relief efforts at SCN ministries in Surkhet. You may donate to the cause at http://www.scnfamily.org/flood.
Navjyoti Saving and Credit Cooperative in Surkhet, Nepal organized its 7th general body meeting at Navjyoti Center on Oct. 16, 2014. One minute of silence was observed in remembrance of the diseased members. Navjyoti Cooperative has 375 shareholders consisting of 308 women, 26 men, and 41 women groups. There are 81 child members, 38 voluntary members and 106 members whose savings are collected on a daily basis.
The speakers spoke very highly about its transparency and service to the society. The chief guest reminded that Navjyoti Cooperative was honored as the best cooperative in the district during the district level cooperative day celebration for its dedication to the economically poor and afflicted, especially women.
The speaker also urged other cooperatives to learn from the activities of the Navjyoti Cooperative and extended an invitation to join the National Cooperative. On this occasion Rosita Kavilpurayidathil, SCN, the founder and patron of the cooperative, was honored with a shawl and certificate of appreciation.
At present Navjyoti Center holds responsibility for 5 cooperatives in the District of Surkhet, most of which are managed by women group members.
SCNS Latika & Philomena with Archbishop William D’Souza and the Minister
By Malini Manjoly, SCN
Nazareth Hospital, Mokama, makes ‘History’ as it opens its doors to a noble cause of Sheltering 60 young disadvantaged and social outcast girls.
Mokama Nazareth Hospital Society signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Social Welfare Department of the government of Bihar to make use of the available space of the hospital and their compassionate service in reaching out to the most needy of the society. Through many deliberations it was agreed upon to house 150 disadvantaged young girls/women between the age group of 14-19 in two of the hospital wards.
Most Rev. William D’Souza, the Archbishop of Patna Archdiocese, Mrs. Leshi Singh, the Minister of Social Welfare Department, and its Director, Immauddin Ahmad, Chief of Unicef, Patna, Yasim Muzamdhar, the Sub Divisional Officer and Assistant Superintend of Police, Barh, Officer in charge of Mokama police station and Sister Philomena Kottoor, the Vice Provincial of Patna Province officially inaugurated this great event with lamp lighting followed by a welcome song by the SCN Candidates.
The Minister and the Director said that in the history of Bihar, it’s the first time that a government department approached a Catholic NGO (Non-governmental Organization) to partner with them. They remarked that knowing the history of the services rendered by Nazareth Hospital in the past, they were sure that the Sisters will be able to prepare these young women to enter into the mainstream through life skill training, education and compassionate loving presence. They assured the Sisters full cooperation from their side.
The Archbishop said around 90 percent of the youth in India though educated is not capable of getting a job, because they lack soft skill training and job opportunities. This is possible both in the rural and urban set up without much infra structure or most modern technology. Seventy per cent of the Indian population is below 35 years of age. This initiative of imparting skill training to these young women of ‘After Care Home’ will be an answer to the need of our time.
The Archbishop and the Minister cut the ribbon and inspected the neatly arranged living rooms and the study area.
Sister Lilly Luka is appointed by the Bihar government as the Officer In Charge of the Program and Sister Sangeeta Bara, the Life Skill Educationist. Sister Latika Kottuppallil, the Administrator of Nazareth Hospital and Sister Doctor Shanti James along with other Sisters worked behind the scene for more than six months for this new dawn.
Congratulations Sisters, for you have truly opted to take risks in being with the most disadvantaged of our society and taking a concrete step in living out the Directives of our General Assembly 2013.
From right to left Archbishop William D’Souza, Minister Leshi Singh, Chief of Unicef Unicef, Yasim Muzamdar and Immamuddin Ahmad, director of Socail Welfare department.
SCNs Lathika Kottuppallil and Pholomen Kottoor with Minister Leshi Singh
SCNs Lilly, Philomen, Latika, Shanti James and Tessy Varghese
SCNs Marietta Saldanha, Teresa Velloothara and Archbishop William D’Souza
Sister Philomena Kottor lights the lamp
“You can’t see the hurts that are inside and they can be many,” says Mary Ninette Manning, SCN. “They can include family, school, friends, divorce, and even coping with death. These can all be hard to deal with.”
For over three decades Sister Mary Ninette has been a welcome presence in the lives of hundreds of teenagers. As a counselor at Bethlehem High School in Bardstown, Ky., she focuses on counseling and listening to the students as they navigate various personal difficulties. Early in the school year, she reaches out to all of the students to let them know that she is available, and that what she deals with is hurt and pain, perfectly normal feelings, that may exist inside of the teens.
Students are referred, or refer each other to her. She finds that the young men and women are willing to talk most of the time. Sometimes students are apprehensive, but Sister Mary Ninette strives to put them at ease. She finds that many students are open about their experiences in counseling with others, but she still works very hard to keep her meetings confidential.
“It is my hope and my prayer that the students with whom I work feel better about themselves as a result of our sessions,” she says. “We work on improving self-esteem, on believing in their own giftedness, on dealing with difficult family issues, and on other things that come up. I especially want the young women to believe they have many things to contribute to this world and that they are as important as the young men with whom they share life and the world.”
Grace Ritchie, a senior at Bethlehem High School, talks with Mary Ninette Manning, SCN.
She finds she is often busiest right before a break and before holidays. For most, the school is a secure and scheduled place, and leaving that can be difficult for some.
Sister Mary Ninette came to Bethlehem in the 1980s. She has seen many changes in the hallways over the decades. Needs are different. Technology has dramatically altered the landscape of the classroom and learning. Many renovations have occurred and the school has experienced growth and expansion. But some things remain the same. Sister Mary Ninette says that teachers want to come to Bethlehem and they want to stay. There is also a great relationship between the students and teachers. If students need help, the teachers are there for their students. “We have a wonderful staff at Bethlehem,” says Sister Mary Ninette. “And there is a strong sense of family and a sense of community.”
That was shown in recent years in dealing with a very tragic student death. In the middle of the summer, 125 students came together for a prayer service and to support each other. “That was a very difficult time. It was a struggle all year in dealing with our loss,” says Sister Mary Ninette.
While Sister Mary Ninette has been in ministry for 32 years at Bethlehem, over 25 of those years, she was also a Marriage and Family Therapist for the Archdiocese of Louisville. For that last seven years, she has concentrated full-time on Bethlehem.
Sister Mary Ninette also coached the tennis team at Bethlehem for eight years, which she says she just loved. She still plays tennis and because she is a life-long player herself, she says she really enjoyed being part of the team. You can often find Sister Mary Ninette attending matches and cheering for players.
Mary Ninette Manning, SCN, talks with the director of marketing of Bethlehem High School, Sandra O’Hare.
It is Sister Mary Ninette’s hope that the SCN founded Bethlehem High School will be there for many years to come, and that the students will be wholesome Christian men and women who will contribute positively to their part of the world, wherever life takes them. She believes Mother Catherine would be proud of the school today.
“I am in ministry at Bethlehem High School because I believe it is where God wants me to be right now,” says Sister Mary Ninette. “I am happy to be carrying on the tradition of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth being here since the school was established in 1812. I have enjoyed my years here. As long as I feel like I can relate to high school students, I know that I should stay. Whenever there is a doubt, something happens where I have the opportunity to help one more student.”
So, she does just that.
Written by SCNs Marianne Puthoor & Malini Manjoly
In a prayerful and reflective manner, community members shared with each other their lived experiences in life, ministry, and interpersonal relationships. Each one had ample opportunities to share and to listen about their contribution towards promoting intercultural and intergenerational integration.
Sharing daily in the local community made the members grow in love and respect for each other. Each local community pledged for spiritual, community and ministry revitalization. It brought about a desire for transformation and to have a deeper bond with each other. Time was given for reconciliation with each other and to let go of all that holds them back from being fully alive and bearing much fruit.
It was truly a learning experience and an opportunity to move into a wholeness to embrace all that each one holds as sacred as an individual and as an SCN in the larger context: Our call to minister as God experienced people.
To see more photos click here.
By Malini Manjoly, SCN
Called to be a new way of being and ministering, SCNs in health ministry moves into primary health care. Twenty-five Sisters were present for the meeting at Nazareth Convent, Mokama, on Oct. 12, 2014.
Philomena Kottoor, SCN, reminded the group to bring about systemic change, to work for justice in solidarity with the oppressed people and to be innovative in ministry.
Each health unit presented their annual report which showed a gradual decline in the number of patients treated at the health centers. SCNs Kitamai Catherine Sinku and Lilly Luka presented project design and documentation.
SCNs Philomen Kottoor, Sujita Muthalakuzhy, Anjana Kunnath and Amelia Moras Health Ministry Committee members
Anjana Kunnath, SCN, presented, A New Way of Being in Health Mission. In it she stated, “Primary health care is an essential health care, based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods, and technology, made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self reliance and self-determination. Primary health care must be quality oriented and sensitive to the needs of the community.
"For Jesus the healings were not isolated acts but part of his proclamation of the reign of God. This was his way of telling everyone the good news: God is arriving, and even the most unfortunate can experience his merciful love here and now. These amazing healings were simple but real signs of a new world: the world that God wants for everyone.
"The therapy that Jesus applied was His own person, passionate love of life, wholehearted acceptance of every sick person, power to renew a person from the bottom up, and the contagion of His faith in human beings. God’s power to awaken unrecognized energies in people created the conditions that made the recovery of health possible.”
The members looked at how Jesus approached health care. The question which the members reflected upon was, “Are we in medical ministry, health ministry, or what else?”
Kiran Kaniyamkandathil, SCN, presnting health ministry report of Batkthiarpur
SCNs Lilly Luka and Kitamai Catherine Sinku presenting project writing and documentation
Sheeli Chinnarani, SCN, presenting report of Tendrabong health centre
Sisters Karuna Thotumarickal, Kiran Kaniyamkandathil and lilly Thomas in front row
Sisters Usha Sldanha and Jyoti Bara facilitating the meeting