Notes from OPJIC
Week of June 6, 2013
How I Spent My Spring Vacation (in Guatemala)
Ahhh, the memories of vacation are fresh in my mind. The pat-pat-pat sound of Guatemalan women shaping balls of mesa into tortillas along with the smell of these tortillas cooking over an open fire is mouthwatering. Waking up to roosters crowing and firecrackers that are set off to celebrate birthdays or other special days negates the need for an alarm clock. And the children, with their deep dark brown eyes, waiting for their turn to have fluoride varnish applied to their teeth during a dental health presentation are the hope and future for Guatemala.
Mixco, Guatemala, is a bustling urban city where S. Sarah Mulligan lives and works. Her house is a welcoming retreat. The kitchen, with its turquoise walls, is where prayer, reflection, conversation, laughter, and of course, eating meals happens daily. Upon entering the Daniel Comboni Community Clinic, one realizes that S. Sarah and her staff have created a refuge for many Mixco area residents. A bright, clean and airy clinic for adults and children serves indigenous people who could not otherwise afford medical and dental care. In addition, education and nutrition
programs provide the community with the information they need to stay healthy and happy.
From photographing the annual community run or designing certificates and posters to assisting with a dental health training or visiting with S. Sarah, I had a wonderful time reuniting with friends and building new relationships. And to top it all off, I was honored to have Maria teach me to pat-pat-pat the balls of mesa into tortillas. Although small and misshapen, they were delicious!
Violence Against Women
The Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation hosted the Violence Against Women Symposium April 4, 2013, at the Xavier University Schiff Banquet and Conference Center. Guests were inspired by the words of S. Joan Chittister, OSB, a best-selling author and well-known international lecturer on topics of justice, peace, human rights, women's issues, and contemporary spirituality in the Church and in society. S. Joan told of women who had been or are currently victims of violence all over the world. Members of the MUSE choir, a women’s choir dedicated to musical excellence and social change performed prior to the program. Also featured was the Clothesline Project, a visual display designed to break the silence surrounding violence against women and to illustrate the impact of violence. The exhibit is comprised of T-shirts designed by local survivors of violence and by their families and friends who have been impacted by the violence perpetrated against their loved ones.
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