The current edition of Time magazine is devoted to a list of the 100 most influential people in the world. They include two people on the list whom I immediately recognised as Catholics, writes Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith.
- The Catholic Herald
The first is Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, who lives and works in Gulu, northern Uganda. The magazine provides us with a little essay on her work by Forest Whitaker, the actor who played Idi Amin, and who knows something about the country. Apparently, Forest has narrated a film about her, which is good, as Sister Rosemary and all the nuns like her deserve publicity for their work. I myself have been to St Monica’s, the place she runs for girls who had been kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army, and to the school for boys nearby.
The boys are all ex-child soldiers, the girls have all been raped; they have all seen unimaginable horrors, but the atmosphere in these Catholic institutions in Gulu is one of kindness, calm and love. Sister Rosemary and her co-workers are building a civilisation of love, from scratch. It was amazingly wonderful to see the Gospel in action in Gulu. I wish everyone could see it. And it is not just in Gulu that these things are happening: there are religious all over Africa, and on other continents too, doing similar work.
Forest Whitaker’s conclusion made me sit up: 'For women with unwanted children born out of conflict, she [Sister Rosemary] allows them to become loving mothers at last. The traumas she heals are unfathomable, but the reach of her love is boundless.'
The implication of those beautiful words is clear. Unwanted children become wanted. Hatred is conquered by love. Abortion is not the answer.