in Support of Human Rights.
She and other CADHAC staff receive
a steady stream of visitors to their Monterrey, Mexico office: usually distraught
family members of victims and survivors
of violence. They listen to and document
violations of human rights, and they take
legal steps toward justice. Often that
means walking past or confronting soldiers
and officials complicit in the crimes.
“She can be disarming to authority fig-
ures who are used to people fearing them.
She could be their grandmother. It’s a
firmness and sincerity they have not heard
before. But then she also has this gentleness and warmth with the victims and
families,” Nik Steinberg of the organization Human Rights Watch told the Times.
Morales’ work has stirred anger, but
love and admiration are perhaps more common. In 2011 she was presented the Alison
Des Forges Award from Human Rights
Watch for valor in defending human rights.
Rare “twinning” brings men and
women monastics together
SISTER CONSUELO MORALES, C.S.A., a Canoness of St. Augustine of the Congregation of Our Lady, spends her days thinking
about things the rest of us would rather not:
torture and assassination by drug lords and
corrupt government officials in Mexico.
The Los Angeles Times called her “one
of Mexico’s most indefatigable and effective defenders of human rights.” In 1992,
following what Sister Consuelo has called
her own crisis of faith, she founded CADHAC, the Spanish acronym for Citizens
SISTER STARES DOWN KILLERS
SISTER CONSUELO MORALES speaks at a
CADHAC (Ciudadanos en Apoyo a los Derechos
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THOSE WHO LIVE an “enclosed” religious life of contemplative prayer generally see only the members of their own, single-sex community on a regular basis. The Benedictine monks and nuns of a pair of religious communities in Petersham, Massachusetts, however, have an unusual arrangement:
They are twinned. That means the sisters of St. Scholastica Priory and the brothers and priests of St. Mary’s Monastery attend daily Mass together, pray five of
the seven daily prayers of the Divine Office as a group, share responsibility for a
guest house, gather for conversation once a week, and occasionally attend talks
and lectures together.
Mother Mary Elizabeth Kloss, O.S.B., prioress of St. Scholastica, tells VISION:
“Our experience of the twin community has enriched our life on several levels. The
first is that our liturgical celebrations are richer and fuller. . . . The men’s voices keep
ours from becoming too high and delicate, and the female voices help to keep their voices bright somehow. . . . We are friends both collectively as communities and as individuals. This relationship keeps us from getting too ‘ingrown’ and self-centered and fosters charity.”
Mother Kloss says this kind of pairing of independent men’s and women’s communities is rare—she knew only of three communities worldwide—but it has existed since the fourth century. “We’re celibate,” she says, “but there’s a mutuality of relationship that’s natural between men and women.”
SISTER MARY Frances Wynn, Marlene Gomez
(postulant), Brother Bernard Osbaldeston,
Brother Matthew Jackson, Sister Mary
Emmanuel Wade, Brother Isidore Colm, Sister
Mary Paula Wenzel, and Sister Mary Angela Kloss
at an intercommunity gathering.