The “Bethlehem Mission” (Missao Belem) is a lay spiritual community of people who devote themselves to caring for the homeless, drug addicts, the lonely and all those facing a crisis or some difficult situation.
Kazakhstan is a vast country, covering an area of well over 1 million square miles, or more than a quarter of the size of the entire United States. Yet it has a population of just 18 million. A former Soviet republic, it has been an independent state since 1991.
At age 88, Sister Halina has surely earned the right to more rest after a long life of daily service on behalf of the poor, but she continues to work, tirelessly visiting the sick and sewing quilts and pillowcases for newborn babies. And her equally elderly fellow Sisters also continue their service – listening to and counseling those who come to them for advice, helping children with their homework and comforting the sick and needy. Some of them even continue to instruct and give talks.
The Poor Clare Sisters in Brestovsko in Bosnia and Herzegovina are young, with an average age of 41. Only one of them is over 60, and the two youngest are just 24 and 26. The convent was founded in 1989, immediately after the collapse of communism in the country, at a time when the old Yugoslavia still existed. Four religious Sisters came from Split, now part of Croatia, to establish a new convent in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the 1930s, a dozen or more Ukrainian girls traveled to Belgium in order to prepare for the foundation of the first Redemptorist convent in their home country of Ukraine. It was not until 80 years later that this dream was finally able to see its fulfillment. The outbreak of the Second World War and …