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November 15, 2021, San Diego, California – “We are committed to putting the Gospel into action in this sacred work we undertake these days.”
That was the message of Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) in her recent Presidential Address during the 2021 CCUSA Annual Gathering in San Diego, California. In attendance were CCUSA professionals, volunteers, and partners who serve in agencies throughout the United States
In her address, “What Time Is It?” Sister Donna noted the suffering that people in the United States have undergone in the past year and a half from the pandemic, racial violence, the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, natural disasters, and the trauma of migrants and refugees who come to the United States seeking safety. After these difficult months, “I believe this is a time for healing,” she said. “This is a time for hope, a time to be reinvigorated.”
Sister Donna enumerated the various ways that CCUSA staff and volunteers reached out to suffering people in the United States in the past months: through food distribution; distribution of supplies such as masks, face shields, and hand sanitizers to protect people from the virus; help for people facing eviction, as well as emergency housing, senior housing, and units of supportive, affordable housing; support to migrants and refugees coming from the southern border and, most recently, from Afghanistan and Haiti; mental health and wellness services; and workforce development and job training.
Finally, Sister Donna spoke of the mandate of Pope Francis to bring hope to all who are suffering and in need. “Regardless of race, creed, nationality, social status, orientation, or age, we extend our care so people may reclaim hope and live a full life,” she said. “Catholic Charities is a profound expression of the healing ministry of the Church.”
Watch Sister Donna’s entire Presidential Address.
October 27, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – As Michigan heads toward colder weather, INAI, an art gallery adjacent to Weber Retreat and Conference Center, welcomes a colorful exhibit from Peru. The Cuadros Exhibit, featuring textile pictures from Peru, opens Friday, November 5, 2021, and continues through Sunday, February 27, 2022. A reception is scheduled from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, November 7, 2021.
Cuadros are textile wall hangings depicting the lives of people in barrios, or shantytowns, outside of Lima, Peru. Women in Pamplona Alta create them through embroidery and appliquéd scraps of cotton or other materials. The Cuadros are an art of survival, documenting the struggles of the women living in difficult situations marked by political instability, economic hardship, and lack of steady work. They show hope and courage, presenting the women’s stories through bright colors, decorative patterns, and lively details.
Sister Barbara Cervenka, OP, herself an artist, first visited Pamplona Alta in 1989 at the invitation of Sister Pam Millenbach, OP, who ministered there with the late Sister Mary K. Duwelius, OP. “Peru was then in turmoil: Sendero Luminoso, a terrorist group, was bombing buildings in Lima and ravaging small towns in the countryside,” Sister Barbara recalled. She came to admire the artwork of the women and brought back as many of the Cuadros as she could.
Sister Barbara prepared a small exhibition of the Cuadros at the University of Michigan. Since then, through Con/Vida (“With Life”) – a nonprofit organization in Detroit that organizes exhibits of the work of local artists in Latin America – she has shown the Cuadros at nearly 100 sites, earning thousands of dollars that have helped to support the women of Pamplona Alta and their families. Sister Barbara and Mame Jackson are Co-directors of Con/Vida.
INAI (in-EYE) is a Japanese word meaning within. INAI, a place for quiet reflection and art, is open to the public. The INAI Gallery is adjacent to Weber Retreat and Conference Center, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse. Enter the Eastern-most driveway of the complex and follow the signs to Weber Center.
Gallery hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily or by appointment. Masks are required and guests must be screened at the Weber Center reception desk or Weber Center Shop. Please call 517-266-4090 or 313-608-9181 for an appointment to visit the gallery.