Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Taylor Robinson of Incarnate Word Academy Featured in the International Day of the Girl

Taylor Robinson, a senior at Incarnate Word Academy (IWA) in Saint Louis, MO used her unique voice to empower others to recognize the importance of equal representation of women and fair treatment of all humanity.

In the Untied Nations Sustainable Development goals,    Goal 5 notes “empower women and girls.”   The International Day of the Girl was established nine years ago to further that. Normally the Girls Summit would be held at the United Nations, but with the pandemic, an online event is being held.  Taylor Robinson's film,  among submissions from all over the world is one of the entries selected to be featured on their website, social media, and in the virtual celebrations.

The international organizers wrote to her: "We are very excited to include your inspiring piece. Thank you very much for the time and energy you put into creating such outstanding material. Your submission will be posted on the Day of the Girl  Website  and posted from the Day of the Girl social media accounts. Your submission will help elevate the conversation about girls' human rights around the globe. The International Day of the Girl 2020 is being observed Oct. 9 to 11.  Join us on Friday, October 9th for a Virtual Field Trip to the Girls' Rights Townhall in partnership with the United Nations. Then join us on Sunday, October 11th for the 9th annual Girls SpeakOut on Youtube!  On October 9th we will be hosting a virtual Girls' Rights Townhall where girl activists will come together with UN policymakers to talk about building equity for girls. Watch the event on our website  and prepare ahead of time with our curriculum .  

On October 11th, the Girls Speak Out will premiere on Youtube  throughout the day. Find your timezone and language here  Hear from girls around the world about what building equity means to them through music, poetry, and art. Viewers will have the opportunity to join the dialogue through a live chat – ask questions and share your experiences!" 

Taylor Robinson currently serves as an Officer of IWA’s Diversity Club where she is constantly promoting and celebrating each individual voice. When Taylor learned of the amazing opportunity to use her voice to showcase her boldness, she happily agreed to provide a creative submission to the International Day of the Girl program. Taylor stated, “I decided to do the video because in today's chaotic world, it is hard to find your voice and project it to the point where it actually is heard. I was luckily granted the opportunity and took advantage of it."


When asked, what do girls need to have to build equity in  their lives, education, and communities, Taylor eagerly responded with, “representation and fair treatment.” Representation to Taylor means representation in the classroom, government, leadership, and in her community. It was important for Taylor to empower girls to realize that they can succeed in their community and in the world. Similarly, fair treatment involved promoting fair and equal treatment with law enforcement so that her community could feel safe. She shared that
representation and fair treatment needed to unite so that girls can come together to be the change that this world so desperately needs. See her contribution: 

The principal of Incarnate Word Academy Katie Wilson and the Director of Equity and Inclusion Jordan Watson  encouraged Taylor to  be a part of this international effort after receiving the invitation from Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, Chair of the Incarnate Word Sisters Justice, Peace, and Creation Committee. Incarnate Word Sisters have come many countries including France, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Ireland. Taylor carries forward the international tradition. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

“Forced like Jesus Christ to flee” : A prayer guide

We have prepared this prayer inspired by the Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 106 World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2020. 
Here you can download the guide: Prayer guide

Every year since 1914, the last Sunday of September our Church celebrates the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR). In the light of the tragic events that have marked 2020, the Holy Father has chosen “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee as the theme for this year to focus on the pastoral care of internally displaced people (IDPs). He calls us to recognize the realities of internally displaced persons, and to embrace all those who are experiencing situations of precariousness, abandonment, marginalization and rejection as a result of COVID-19. 
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 
When we talk about migrants,
immigrants, refugees and displaced persons,
all too often we stop at statistics.
But it is not about statistics, it is about real people!
Creator of life, we want to know in order to understand.
All: Give us your grace not just to know about them, but also, to be available to understand them.
May our fears not distance us from others, 
may nothing stop us from "being a neighbor" 
and to serve with love.
Creator of life, we want to be close in order to serve
All: Give us your grace of readiness to draw near and to serve lovingly beyond a mere sense of duty.
Open our ears, mind, and heart to listen 
to the plea of the vulnerable, 
the displaced and our seriously ill planet. 
Creator of life, we want to listen in order to be reconciled
All: Give us your grace to be reconciled with neighbors, with all those who have been “discarded”, with ourselves and with You.
The pandemic has reminded us 
how we are all in the same boat. 
No one can be saved alone. 
Creator of life, in order to grow, we want to share
All: Give us your grace of learning to share in order to grow together, leaving no one behind. 
The pandemic has reminded us 
of how essential co- responsibility is, 
and that only with the contribution of everyone 
– even of those groups so often underestimated– 
can we face this crisis. 
Creator of life, we want to be involved in order to promote
All: Gives us your grace to find the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called.  May we create new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity.
Building the Kingdom of God is a duty common to all Christians, 
and for this reason, it is necessary that we learn to cooperate, 
without yielding to the temptation to jealousy, discord and division. 
Creator of life, we want to cooperate in order to build
All: Gives us your grace to commit ourselves to ensuring international cooperation, global solidarity and local commitment, leaving no one excluded. 
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit…
During the flight into Egypt, the child Jesus experienced with his parents the tragic fate of the displaced and refugees, “which is marked by fear, uncertainty and unease. Unfortunately, in our own times, millions of families can identify with this sad reality. Almost every day the television and papers carry news of refugees fleeing from hunger, war and other grave dangers, in search of security and a dignified life for themselves and for their families.” In each of these people, forced to flee to safety, Jesus is present as he was at the time of Herod. In the faces of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, strangers and prisoners, we are called to see the face of Christ who pleads with us to help. If we can recognize him in those faces, we will be the ones to thank him for having been able to meet, love and serve him in them. Displaced people offer us this opportunity to meet the Lord, “even though our eyes find it hard to recognize him: his clothing in tatters, his feet dirty, his face disfigured, his body wounded, his tongue unable to speak our language.” 
Extract of Pope Francis’ Message 2020
ACTION: Each person lights a candle and then places it around the image of St. Joseph.
Father, you entrusted to Saint Joseph what you held most precious: 
the child Jesus and his Mother, in order to protect them from the dangers 
and threats of the wicked.
Grant that we may experience his protection and help. 
May he, who shared in the sufferings of those 
who flee from the hatred of the powerful, 
console and protect all our brothers and sisters driven 
by war, poverty and necessity to leave their homes and their lands 
to set out as refugees for safer places.
Help them, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, 
to find the strength to persevere, give them comfort in sorrows 
and courage amid their trials.
Grant to those who welcome them some of the tender love 
of this just and wise father, who loved Jesus as a true son
 and sustained Mary at every step of the way.
May he, who earned his bread by the work of his hands, 
watch over those who have seen everything in life taken away 
and obtain for them the dignity of a job and the serenity of a home.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, 
your Son, whom Saint Joseph saved by fleeing to Egypt, 
and trusting in the intercession of the Virgin Mary, 
whom he loved as a faithful husband in accordance with your will.
Praised be the Incarnate Word!

© All prayers and readings are inspired, adapted and selected from the Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2020. 

This prayer resource has been created by the Congregational Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office. A ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word [World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2020] Free Resource

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

23 de septiembre: Día Internacional contra la Explotación Sexual y la Trata de Mujeres, Niñas y Niños

El Día Internacional contra la Explotación Sexual y el Trata de Mujeres, Niñas y Niños se evoca cada 23 de septiembre. Fue instaurado por la Conferencia Mundial de la Coalición Contra el Tráfico de Personas, en coordinación con la Conferencia de Mujeres de Dhaka, Bangladesh, en enero de 1999. 

El Protocolo de Palermo define la trata de personas en su artículo 3 como: “la captación, el transporte, el traslado, la acogida o la recepción de personas, recurriendo a la amenaza o al uso de la fuerza u otras formas de coacción, al rapto, al fraude, al engaño, al abuso de poder o de una situación de vulnerabilidad o a la concesión o recepción de pagos o beneficios para obtener el consentimiento de una persona que tenga autoridad sobre otra, con fines de explotación. Esta explotación incluirá, como mínimo, la explotación de la prostitución ajena u otras formas de explotación sexual, los trabajos o servicios forzados, la esclavitud o las prácticas análogas a la esclavitud, la servidumbre o la extracción de órganos.”

Como Congregación de las Hermanas de la Caridad del Verbo Encarnado desde nuestra misión de actualizar el amor salvador y misericordioso del Verbo Encarnado promoviendo la dignidad humana, “afirmamos la dignidad y los derechos de todas las personas y denunciamos la Trata de personas y los sistemas económicos y sociales que lo propician” (Postura Corporativa, 2015)

Aquí les dejamos un recurso para orar: En comunión con todas las Santas y Santos 

Con respecto al tema, el Protocolo de Palermo, tiene como objetivo: prevenir y combatir la trata de personas, con especial atención a las mujeres y los niños. Proteger y ayudar a las víctimas de dicha trata, respetando plenamente sus derechos humanos. y promover la cooperación entre los Estados parte para lograr los fines. Dicho protocolo fue ratificado por varios países de América Latina. México fue uno de los primeros en adherirse a la Campaña Corazón Azul para prevenir, sancionar y erradicar la Trata de Personas.

Aquí algunos evento entorno a este importante día de reflexión y lucha contra la trata de personas:

Organizado por la Confederación de Vida Religiosa en América Latina. Aquí los detalles del Evento

Organizado por el Ministerio del Interior del Perú. Aquí los detalles y más eventos en Perú

11 años de Talitha Kum -Vida Religiosa contra la Trata de Personas. Aquí para ver Mensaje de la Coordinadora de la Red Rahamim México

Oración Comunitaria organizada por Red Kawsay Perú. Más información aquí

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Una oración por la Jornada Mundial del Migrante y del Refugiado 2020

Hemos preparado esta oración inspiradas en el Mensaje de Su Santidad el Papa Francisco por la 106º Jornada Mundial de los Migrantes y Refugiados 2020. 
Aquí puedes descargar la guía: Oración

Cada año desde 1914, el último domingo de setiembre nuestra Iglesia celebra la Jornada Mundial de Oración por Migrantes y Refugiados. A la luz de los trágicos acontecimientos que han marcado el año 2020, el Santo Padre ha elegido como tema de este año "Forzados como Jesucristo a huir" para centrar la atención en la pastoral de los desplazados internos. El Papa Francisco nos llama a reconocer el drama de quienes experimentan el desplazamiento y a abrazar a todas las personas que están experimentando situaciones de precariedad, abandono, marginación y rechazo como resultado de COVID-19. 
En el nombre del Padre, del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo...
Cuando hablamos de migrantes,
inmigrantes, refugiados y desplazados,
demasiado a menudo nos detenemos en las estadísticas.
¡Pero no son números, sino personas! 
Creador de la vida, que al conocer pueda comprender.
Todas(os): Danos tu gracia no sólo para saber sus historias, sino también para estar disponible para comprenderles.
Que nuestros miedos no nos distancien de los demás, 
que nada nos impida "ser prójimo" 
y de servir con amor.
Creador de la vida, queremos hacernos prójimo para servir
Todas(os): Danos tu gracia de estar disponibles a acercarnos y servir va más allá del estricto sentido del deber.
Abre nuestros oídos, mente y corazón para escuchar 
el grito de los más vulnerables, los desplazados 
y de nuestro planeta gravemente enfermo. 
Creador de vida, queremos escuchar para reconciliar
Todas(os): Danos tu gracia para reconciliarnos con nuestro prójimo, con todos los "descartados", con nosotras mismas y contigo.
La pandemia nos recuerda 
cómo todas las personas estamos en un mismo barco. 
Nadie puede salvarse de modo aislado. 
Creador de la vida, queremos compartir para crecer.
Todas(os): Danos tu gracia para aprender a compartir y crecer como una sola familia humana, sin dejar a nadie atrás. 
La pandemia nos ha recordado cuán esencial 
es la corresponsabilidad y 
que sólo con la colaboración de todas y todos 
incluso de los grupos a menudo subestimados
es posible encarar la crisis. 
Creador de la vida, queremos involucrar para promover
Todas(os): Danos tu gracia para tener el coraje de crear espacios donde todas las personas puedan reconocer su llamado, y permitir nuevas formas de hospitalidad, hermandad y solidaridad.
La construcción del Reino de Dios
es un compromiso común de toda persona que cree en Jesús, 
y por eso se requiere que aprendamos a colaborar, 
sin dejarnos tentar por los celos, las discordias y las divisiones. 
Creador de la vida, queremos colaborar para construir
Todas(os): Danos tu gracia para comprometernos en asegurar la cooperación internacional, la solidaridad global y el compromiso local, sin dejar fuera a nadie
Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al Espíritu Santo…
En la huida a Egipto, el niño Jesús experimentó, junto con sus padres, la trágica condición de desplazado y refugiado, «marcada por el miedo, la incertidumbre, las incomodidades. Lamentablemente, en nuestros días, millones de familias pueden reconocerse en esta triste realidad. Casi cada día la televisión y los periódicos dan noticias de refugiados que huyen del hambre, de la guerra, de otros peligros graves, en busca de seguridad y de una vida digna para sí mismos y para sus familias». Jesús está presente en cada uno de ellos, obligado como en tiempos de Herodes a huir para salvarse. Estamos llamados a reconocer en sus rostros el rostro de Cristo, hambriento, sediento, desnudo, enfermo, forastero y encarcelado, que nos interpela. Si lo reconocemos, seremos nosotros quienes le agradeceremos el haberlo conocido, amado y servido. Los desplazados internos nos ofrecen esta oportunidad de encuentro con el Señor, «incluso si a nuestros ojos les cuesta trabajo reconocerlo: con la ropa rota, con los pies sucios, con el rostro deformado, con el cuerpo llagado, e incapaz de hablar nuestra lengua». 
Extracto del Mensaje del Papa Francisco, 2020
GESTO: Cada persona enciende una vela y luego la coloca alrededor de la imagen de San José.
Padre, Tú encomendaste a San José lo más valioso que tenías:
el Niño Jesús y su madre, para protegerlos de los peligros
y de las amenazas de los malvados.
Concédenos experimentar su protección y su ayuda.
Él, que padeció el sufrimiento de quien huye
a causa del odio de los poderosos,
haz que pueda consolar y proteger a todos los hermanos y hermanas que,
empujados por las guerras, la pobreza y las necesidades,
abandonan su hogar y su tierra,
para ponerse en camino, como refugiados, hacia lugares más seguros.
Ayúdales, por su intercesión,
a tener la fuerza para seguir adelante,
el consuelo en la tristeza, el valor en la prueba.
Da a quienes les acogen
un poco de la ternura de este padre justo y sabio,
que amó a Jesús como un verdadero hijo
y sostuvo a María a lo largo del camino.
Él, que se ganaba el pan con el trabajo de sus manos,
pueda proveer de lo necesario a quienes la vida les ha quitado todo,
y darles la dignidad de un trabajo y la serenidad de un hogar.
Te lo pedimos por Jesucristo, tu Hijo,
que San José salvó al huir a Egipto,
y por intercesión de la Virgen María,
a quien amó como esposo fiel según tu voluntad.
¡Alabado sea el Verbo Encarnado!
© Todas las oraciones y lecturas están inspiradas, adaptadas y seleccionadas del Mensaje de Su Santidad el Papa Francisco por la 106º Jornada Mundial de los Migrantes y Refugiados 2020. 
Este recurso de oración ha sido elaborado por la Oficina Congregacional de Justicia, Paz e Integridad de la Creación. Un ministerio de las Hermanas de la Caridad del Verbo Encarnado [Jornada Mundial de los Migrantes y Refugiados 2020] Libre para ser compartido

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Restorative Justice, Compassion, Nonviolence: Peruvian and US Anniversaries


Bishop Luis Bambarén, who was the official observer on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Peru, spoke to a UIW Study Tour that included Incarnate Word Sisters in 2002.  

The Peruvian and US Anniversaries on August 28, 2020, were invitations to reflection and conversion. Peruvians observed the 17th anniversary of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission  which had been accepted by the government on August 28, 2003.  The nine-volume report on human rights abuses estimated that over 69,000 people had been killed in the last two decades of 20th century.  

In the 1980’s as injustices in Peruvian society were publicly pointed out, groups began to turn to violence.  Then the government responded with more violence rather than efforts to listen and respond to the roots of the problems.  With groups, like Sendero Luminoso and with government forces, violence was used more and more.  

While the government may not have killed quite as many people, their approaches fueled ever more violence. Seventeen years ago, the Peruvian government accepted the report of the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” not denying guilt. 

Monsignor Luis Bambarén Gastelumendi, Bishop of  Chimbote and President of the Episcopal Conference of Peru, was the official observer on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  He is a friend of the Incarnate Word Sisters. Sisters continued ministering during the challenging years of violence. See articles that include some on the Sisters and ministry in Peru "Danger Did Not Drive Us Out of Peru"   and in English  "The World Will Be Saved By Beauty"  "Washerwoman God"  

August 28, 2020, was the 57th anniversary of the “March on Washington” in which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech “I have a dream.” He had said if there was not a movement towards justice, unrest would continue in the U.S.  That has proved true and thousands marched on Washington for the 57th anniversary.  They lamented the murder of another Black person and the patterns of racism. 

In San Antonio, Texas, considering the killing of George Floyd, on June 7, 2020, people of many faiths gathered in a Prayer Vigil for #BlackLivesMatter  which  was livestreamed by  from in front of San Fernando Cathedral and many people participated virtually. 

The mayor and religious leaders spoke and faculty and students of the University of the Incarnate Word contributed a litany of people of color who had been killed.  Dr. Danielle Alsandor, Ms. Brandi Coleman, Ms. Casey Ogechi Iwuagwu, Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, Michael Mercer, Darcy E. Renfro, Dr. Ronald Washington can be seen sharing the Litany for Racial Justice 

To see the text of the litany go to

While great challenges continue in Peru in the face of poverty and in the face of corruption, yet people of the US could learn something from Peruvians, as from South Africans and Rwandans.  A society cannot find “easy reconciliation.”  Deep efforts are needed to unveil truths of violence and oppression.

As more truth is discovered, all sides, all groups need ongoing formation in restorative justice.   Retributive justice, looking back and trying to “even out violence” cannot create a positive future.  For people to go into a brighter future, to forge respect and bonds, restorative justice is needed.  Transformative education is needed for the children of victims and the children of the perpetrator to learn to live together and co-create a flourishing society.

Educational movements are growing.  The Charter for Compassion encourages education at all levels. Compassionate Integrity Training is spreading globally and their manual in Spanish, in English, and in German can be downloaded  Pace e Bene, founded by Franciscans offers extensive resources, classes, and invites all to Campaign Nonviolence. These can further transformative education and reconciliation rather than ongoing circles of violence.

Thirty some Incarnate Word Sisters, friends, and co-ministers from Mexico, Peru, and the US participated in the 2020 Campaign Nonviolence educational events remembering the 75 anniversary of the nuclear bombs. They attended the August 6 Vigil, the August 7 Nonviolence Training, and/or the August 8, 2020 large conference. Recordings of all of these events can be seen in English.  Pace e Bene has had classes and resources in Spanish and is working to get more and more available.

In the face of systemic racism, ongoing efforts for “truth and reconciliation” are urgently needed. Each person is encouraged to disarm her or his heart.  All are encouraged to listen to each other.