Sister Sharlet Wagner, CSC, talks about ways that Catholic sisters work together on social justice efforts to help people in need. Hear the full In Good Faith episode IGF047 at aNunsLife.org. A transcript of this podcast is available below.
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Sharlet, as you think about this kind of ministry, and many other Catholic sisters are involved in similar types of ministries, do you think that there is, in addition to the faith-based approach something distinctive that Catholic sisters bring to this ministry, to this area of human need. Does being a Catholic sister make a difference?
I believe it does. You alluded to Catholic sisters serving in this type of ministry, and you're spot on of course. The response of Catholic sisters has been tremendous in this area. Catholic Charities USA recently put out an appeal through LCWR [Leadership Conference of Women Religious] for help at the border, and already more than 200 sisters have responded. In addition to volunteers, I know that women religious are sending money and sending supplies. Some have opened their convents to asylum seekers in need of a place to stay. And that's just in response to the latest crisis. Women religious have been volunteering for years and have been working for years for immigration reform. They stood outside of detention centers, protesting conditions and protesting deportations. They've served as immigration lawyers and representatives in the immigration court. They've written letters.
I think the situation of immigrants is close to the heart of Catholic sisters in this country and maybe because immigration really strikes at the heart of who we are as Christians and what we believe--that all people are equally children of God. God doesn't make any illegal people, and we must respect the dignity of all who all are invited to have life and have it to the full. So, yes, I think those are perhaps some of the reasons that Catholic sisters have had such a tremendous response to the needs of immigrants.
This transcript has been minimally edited for readability.