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Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

South Sudan: Building a Country from Scratch

2012-06-25

SR. PAT MURRAY
Executive Director, Solidarity with So
uth Sudan
"I'd never seen such a thing like the absence of resources and the absence of infrastructure in particular. At that stage, there were 50 miles of paved road in Sudan, in a country with the same area as France and Germany combined.”


The challenges in South Sudan are immense. Roughly 85 percent of the population is illiterate. Less than 10 percent of its teachers are trained. For the most part, the population has lived in the shadows of wars and conflicts.

That's where groups like 'Solidarity of South Sudan' come in. It includes a religious congregations of women and men who work directly with communities in need in South Sudan.

In addition to helping out with education and health programs, they also promote reconciliation among ethnic groups and tribes.

SR. PAT MURRAY
Executive Director, Solidarity with South Sudan

"In a way you can't force reconciliation. Reconciliation is a gift that you give to another person, so in a sense the victim has within his or her power the gift of being reconciled with another.”


Even though these challenges may seem overwhelming at times, Sister Murray says she finds strength in her Catholic Faith. Part of her motivation, comes from the parable of the mustard seed.

SR. PAT MURRAY
Executive Director, Solidarity with South Sudan

"I think of the message of the mustard seed that the mustard seed grew into an enormous tree and no one even noticed. So, I focus on the mustard seeds that are growing, during teachers training or training nurses, or community leaders or farmers. You see all these are mustard seeds that will flourish and grow  and we will be amazed at this new country which is South Sudan.”


It'not an easy task, but she says seeing progress, even if slow,  makes it all worth it.

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