My ministry takes place in a shelter home for immigrant women who have serious difficulties (financial, job-related, social, as victims of exploitation). 

A few months ago, we welcomed three young women to our shelter home – two from East Europe an one from Africa). We were also asked to shelter for a while a transexual person, whom I will name Sally. We wondered with our team whether we would be able to handle a situation such as this. In the end, though with some hesitation and concern, we accepted. 
Sally had a very wounded past. She had experienced much pain and suffering in her life, had very low self esteem and did not trust anyone. 

As the days went by, we realized that Sally’s presence created a balance within the group of the women at the Home. Sally listened to them and comforted them. She had become a big support and encouraged them to face their own wounds. They helped each other in handling daily chores and in trying to build back up a new life for themselves. 
Sally left the Home saying that she had found a place there where she never felt judged for her life but she felt loved and welcomed for what she was. The serene and family-like environment had allowed her to begin looking at her own past and seeking a new and better life for herself in the future.   

Sr. Monica sfp

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I am a Franciscan Sister of the Poor...

I am a Franciscan Sister of the Poor. I am an obstetrician and work in the brousse (the brush) in Senegal. I come in contact with many women, young expectant mothers, who are very weak because of strenuous activities and the heat, and who would like to learn how to live properly during pregnancy and delivery.

One day, a father arrived at our health center with three-week-old twins. They were extremely small (one weighed 3.9 lbs. and the other 3.5 lbs.), sick and malnourished. Their mother, a 16 year old woman, had died of a hemorrhage when she delivered the second twin. She did not have any pre-natal care and had no idea that she was expecting twins. She delivered at home without any medical assistance. Now she was dead and her husband was coming to us with the babies, accompanied by the grandmother and asking for help.

What could we do? We looked for a place where the twins could stay for one year, where they could be nourished and grow with all the necessary medical care. We found such a place in the city of Dakar. The father said he could not afford it. Thanks to the generosity of so many friends who support us, we found the money. The babies will make it, but unfortunately their father needed to go back to his village, which is very far away.

Who will be close to the babies? Our SFP Associates will visit them and be with them throughout the year. Life goes on and hope is very much alive as well.

Sr. Rose sfp

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