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May 2, 2022, Washington, D.C. – Pope Francis’ message of the need to reach out to people on the margins is “spiritually exhilarating” to those who work directly with people suffering from poverty and marginalization. That was the perspective of Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, who, as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, has dedicated her own life to reaching out to people in need.

Sister Donna Markham, OP

In an article in a recent issue of Our Sunday Visitor, Sister Donna said Pope Francis’ message was credible because of his own work with people in poverty. “His whole life in Latin America has put him face to face with people in abject poverty,” she told Our Sunday Visitor. “He knows how to engage with them.”

Sister Donna experienced the pope’s dedication to struggling people first-hand when, in September 2015, she accompanied him on a tour of agencies that serve people in poverty in New York and Washington, D.C. She was present for his visit to Catholic Charities, when he visited people who were homeless; for his address to the United Nations; and for his visit with immigrants at Queen of Angels School in Harlem. 

Read the article about Pope Francis and his concern for people suffering from poverty.


Feature photo: Pope Francis addresses dignitaries on the White House Lawn during his 2015 tour of the United States, including New York and Washington, D.C. The photo was taken by Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, who was invited to several events during the pope’s visit. Adrian Dominican Sisters File Photo

April 7, 2022, New York, New York – The equality of women and the threat of global climate change are two vital issues confronting the world today. These issues were taken up together March 14-26, 2022, during the during the United Nations’ 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66)

This year’s CSW was “especially timely” with the theme, “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programs,” said Adrian Dominican Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP, the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) representative of Dominicans in120 countries around the world.

In an article published in the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report, Sister Durstyne writes of her experience of participating in CSW66 and the unique opportunity of witnessing the final two hours of deliberations by representatives of the member states on session outcomes. 

“In spite of being an important part of the priority theme, climate change received little coverage,” Sister Durstyne writes. Still, she adds, she is pleased with the number of items that were included in the session outcomes and feels a strong commitment to work toward those outcomes. 

“We women and nongovernmental organizations working at the U.N. will continue to push to advance the outcomes and implementations of the agreed conclusions,” Sister Durstyne concludes. “Women’s lives depend on the fulfillment of the agreed conclusions.”



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