Last week we highlighted the friars ministries in India, here is a sampling of what the Sisters are doing.
The PBS News Hour presented a feature called Fighting to Unravel India’s Widespread Child Labor Abuses. There are laws against child labor in India, yet millions of underage children are still trafficked or forced by poverty to toil away in factories. Here is that report.
What’s happening in India? Reuters explains this in pictures.
The Indian Parliament voted last week to pass a measure that would give special treatment to Hindu and other non-Muslim migrants in India. Critics say that this action by the Hindu nationalist government is in conflict with the country’s founding as a secular republic. To understand better what is happening, read here.
Dominican Sister of Peace Marialein (Mary) Anzenberger, (95), died on December 7, 2019, at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH. Sr. Marialein was born in Altoona, PA, to Josephine Lord and Frank Anzenberger. Although she heard the call to religious life at a young age, her parents asked her to work for three years after her high school graduation before entering the convent. She was obedient to their wishes, and then went on to serve God and the Church for 74 years as a Dominican Sister of Peace.
Sr. Marialein earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, OH, and her Master of Science in Business Education from Hunter College in New York City. She ministered as an educator and administrator for 27 years, teaching from grade 1 to high school in Connecticut, Illinois, New York and Ohio.
Sr. Marialein earned her Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling at Iona College in New York City in 1971, and shortly thereafter was drawn to a new ministry as a member of the Marriage Tribunal at the Center of Renewal in Providence, RI. She joined the Campus Ministry team at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT, then returned home to Pennsylvania where she served as a Pastoral Minister in her home parish in McKees Rocks and studied at Duquesne University.
After returning to Columbus, Sr. Marialein served as a Counselor and member of the Marriage Tribunal at the Shrine Center and the Columbus Diocese.
Sr. Marialein served her congregation in the Office of Human Resources in the Columbus Motherhouse before “retiring” to become a nursing home volunteer in Columbus. She entered her final ministry of prayer and presence at the Mohun Health Care Center in 2017.
In her preaching at Sr. Marialein’s funeral, Sr. Carol Ann Spencer recalled Sr. Marialein’s service at Mohun Health Care Center. “She was like the ‘Unofficial Chaplain,’” Sr. Carol Ann said. “She welcomed each new member and would offer to pray with them.”
“While Sr. Marialein considered Sr. Edwina Devlin, at the age of 105, her role model of how to grow old gracefully,” Sr. Carol Ann continued, “Sr. Marialein was my role model. For her,
it was about wisdom, freedom, and learning to let go and be grateful for each moment.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Josephine Lord Anzenberger; her sister, Katherine Holmes; and her brothers, Anthony, Frank and Joseph Anzenberger. She is survived by several nieces and nephews.
A Vigil of Remembrance Service was held on December 12, at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel, Columbus, OH. The funeral liturgy was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel on December 13. Sr. Marialein was interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Marialein Anzenberger’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219.
As we journey through this Advent season, turning our focus to the real meaning of Christmas, it can be easy to get distracted.
If we are not careful, things like traffic, long lines, depleted store shelves, overloaded schedules, family disharmony, and other frustrations can seize control of the peace of the season.
Although things may happen to us and things may happen around us, it Is up to us to attend to the things that happen within us.
As I reflect on the divine presence born in and around us, I have resolved to live with an open, forgiving heart and to bless others with my peaceful presence (particularly during times of frustration).
As you search your inner heart and mind for the Christ spirit within your being, what gift(s) will you give to others and to the world at Christmas and throughout the year?
I think the gift of listening is that gift. It’s priceless and something we can all give. We often need to be reminded how treasured such a gift is to us and to others.
How many times have you yearned for someone to just listen, to truly listen with their heart and their eyes to your joys, your sorrows, your concerns? In the hustle and bustle of Christmas gatherings or any social gathering, we need to stop, look, and listen to each other.
Can we stop long enough to let others know we hear them, acknowledging their existence and that they matter?
Can we look around us and make eye contact with others, seeing into the eyes of the lonely and offer companionship and compassion?
Can we take time to listen by giving others our undivided attention, silencing and not fiddling with our electronic devices, and letting others find and speak their voices without interrupting their thought process?
I know when someone stops, looks, and listens to me, I feel valued and uplifted. I know too that when I don’t listen to others, I’m hurting and discounting the other person, even if this is not my intention.
Imagine what peace would abound all year round if we all listened more to each other.
Are you ready to listen to how God is calling you? Take courage and take a leap of faith to explore with us whether God is calling you to religious life as a Sister. We welcome journeying with you and invite you to contact us.
Dominicans around the world are uniting to shine a light on human trafficking in India where there are more than one million child prostitutes. Girls as young as seven years old are forced into the nightmare of the commercial sex trade. Girls, who should be in school, are being sold, starved, locked up and raped. Being sold into a brothel in India is a death sentence: only one percent escape or are rescued. Poverty, living on the streets and lack of education for women and girls increase the risk of being forced into the commercial sex trade.
Al Jazeera reports an increase in child pornography in India that has become an $8-billion-dollar industry. The US Department of Justice advises that in USA and in all countries: “The continuous production and distribution of child pornography increases the demand for new and more egregious images, perpetuating the continued molestation of child victims, as well as the abuse of new children.” There is no international law to check the data service providers responsible for online child pornography.
Victims suffer loss, disorientation, sorrow, anger, fear, frustration and depression. Sex trafficking survivors experience social discrimination and rejection. In their own voices, survivors in India said in a confidential study:
“After your honor is gone, nobody will ask about you, not even people in your village.”
“They don’t give respect to girls like me, even to small girls.”
“People should understand us…They should treat us like human beings. Not judging.”
“The world is not safe. I went through suffering. All this happened to me because of no protection. My mother and father, they don’t like me. They left me…To be abandoned was the most difficult thing in my life….All this happened to me because of no protection.”
“So many girls lost their identities, like so many girls lost their families, or so many girls are sold…There should be people who should do work for them…like true love.”
Psalm 146 tells us that our God keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry and sets captives free. May it be so in India. Please join us in prayer and share this story with others. Ask friends, family members, church groups to pray. See if you can get a prayer intention in your parish mass or church bulletin. A small action on your part is more than a “drop in the bucket”; combined with others it could create a sea of change.