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Megan Sweas

Writer, Editor, Student of Life

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Clips

Pope Francis Loves Nuns, But Can the Divide Between Sisters and Vatican Be Healed?

Published by Religion Dispatches and USC CRCC, September 16, 2015

Pope Francis confessed his love for a woman—for many women, actually—on national television this month. Continue reading “Pope Francis Loves Nuns, But Can the Divide Between Sisters and Vatican Be Healed?”

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Could Pope Francis Change Hearts and Minds on Immigration on a Global Scale?

Published by The Washington Post, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, June 11, 2015

A few months into his papacy, Pope Francis took his first trip out of Rome to Lampedusa, the Italian island through which many migrants enter Europe after a treacherous journey across the Mediterranean.

Noting that shipwrecks of migrant boats happened “all too frequently,” Francis blamed “the globalization of indifference.”

“We have become used to the suffering of others. It doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t concern me; it’s none of my business!” he said.

Continue reading “Could Pope Francis Change Hearts and Minds on Immigration on a Global Scale?”

Katy Perry’s Not the Only One Who Wants to Live in a Convent

Published by TIME.com Zocalo Public Square, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, July 23, 2015

I moved into a convent 10 years ago this summer.

Continue reading “Katy Perry’s Not the Only One Who Wants to Live in a Convent”

With Religious Affiliation on the Decline, What Should Happen to Hallowed Buildings?

Published by Washington Post’s Acts of Faith blog and USC CRCC, July 16, 2015

Katy Perry wants to live in a convent. Continue reading “With Religious Affiliation on the Decline, What Should Happen to Hallowed Buildings?”

What Ireland’s “Yes” Vote for Gay Marriage Says About Being Catholic

Published by the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, May 29, 2015

With 62 percent of Ireland voting for the legalization of gay marriage, both liberal and conservative commentators have lamented/celebrated the death of the church in Ireland this week.

“The Irish Church’s failures have caused its people to choose secularism over faith,” bemoaned one headline from the UK Catholic Herald, referencing the church’s sordid sex abuse scandal.

“One wonders what it will take for Americans to become as embittered, and liberated, as the Irish,” Jay Michaelson said on The Daily Beast. Continue reading “What Ireland’s “Yes” Vote for Gay Marriage Says About Being Catholic”

Migrants find welcome with Italian church

Published by National Catholic Reporter, January 27, 2015

ROME AND SICILY — August in Italy is a usually a time for rest and relaxation. But on one Saturday in the summer of 2013, beachgoers in Catania, Sicily, found a boat full of migrants that had crashed off the city’s shore. Continue reading “Migrants find welcome with Italian church”

Italian convents act as safe houses in trafficking portal

Published in Global Sisters Report, January 12, 2015

The girl was waiting at the sisters’ gate one morning in August.

Before her 18th birthday, Elizabeth had already traveled across the Sahara and the Mediterranean on her way from Nigeria to Europe and spent six months in a brothel in Denmark. She was being prepared to start working on the streets of Italy when she found her way to Casa Rut, a safe house for trafficking victims. Continue reading “Italian convents act as safe houses in trafficking portal”

Ministering to unaccompanied immigrant children

Published by Global Sisters Report, June 19, 2014

Eight shelters in the Chicago area hold 450 immigrant children who crossed the border illegally and without a parent or guardian.

Once a month, an interfaith group visits one of the shelters to present a program with a theme like home or gratitude. The children draw pictures and sing a simple song. The adult leaders invite the children to light a candle. “You can tell that some of them really make that a time when they are praying,” said Benedictine Sr. Benita Coffey, one of the volunteers.

But the ministry is momentary. Volunteers are not to form personal connections with the children, and by their next visit, most of them will have moved on. Most likely they have been sent to live with family while they await their deportation proceedings.

As lawyers, social workers and volunteers, women religious and their partners help care for the growing number of unaccompanied alien children entering the United States. Their access to children, however, is increasingly brief. With thousands of immigrants overwhelming an already broken system, people of good will do what they can do to serve each individual in front of them. …

Read more on GlobalSistersReport.org

National Catholic Reporter also published a story on policies toward unaccompanied alien children on the same day.

How to treat unaccompanied immigrant children at center of policy debate

Published by National Catholic Reporter, June 19, 2014

The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati first found out that children were crossing the U.S. border alone in the early 2000s, when their mission took three Central American girls into their El Paso home.

The girls crossed the border when Immigration and Naturalization Service handled “unaccompanied alien children,” as the government refers to them. INS separated out minors, but they were still put in handcuffs, foot shackles and a waist chain, Sr. Janet Gildea said. “They treated them just like criminals.”

Yessenia Vásquez, a Guatemalan teenager who stayed with the Sisters of Charity, was not unlike the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the Southwest border of the United States this year. She was escaping an abusive situation and feared for her life. Continue reading “How to treat unaccompanied immigrant children at center of policy debate”

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