Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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February 2019

'You Pray for a Better Dream'

by Sharlet Wagner, CSC -- LCWR President

I write this column from my bedroom at our convent in Kyarusozi, Uganda, where I am visiting our sisters who minister at a rural health center. Uganda’s fertile soil and natural beauty have earned it the nickname “the Pearl of Africa.” But that natural beauty lives side-by-side with tremendous poverty, a result of colonialism, corruption, and years of warfare.

Yesterday, I and a visiting doctor from the United States met with a local doctor. As we sat together in the convent community room the Ugandan doctor talked at length of the desperate health needs in his country. He spoke about his frustration over government corruption and the lack of basic resources that leave so many suffering from preventable or easily-treatable diseases. Then, with weariness in his eyes and a touch of frustration in his voice he sighed and said, “You lay your head on your pillow and you pray for a better dream.”

Those words seem to me to express the sentiment of so many as we enter into a new year. Refugees are denied refuge, the sexual abuse crisis in the church continues, climate-change forecasts become ever more dire, and government officials too-often ignore the public good in favor of self-promotion. As we begin 2019, people around the world pray for a better dream. What response can we women religious make to the frustration and bone-deep weariness of so many of our sisters and brothers? What do we have to offer? (Continue reading by downloading the PDF document below)


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