Argentine nun answers Pope's call, heads to Syria

Sr Maria Nazareth

A religious sister from Argentina, who has been serving for four years in the Gaza Strip, is preparing to go to the Syrian city of Aleppo, in response to Pope Francis’ call to aid those who are 'forgotten,' reports the Catholic News Agency.

At his first General Audience after being elected, Pope Francis on March 27, 2013, called on Catholics to learn 'to come out of ourselves … in order to go to meet others, to go toward the outskirts of existence, to be the first to take a step toward our brothers and our sisters, especially those who are the most distant, those who are forgotten, those who are most in need of understanding, comfort and help.'

Sister Maria Nazareth took these words to heart. 'I'm going to Aleppo in the north of Syria,' she told Aid to the Church in Need on Monday. The war-torn country, which has seen an estimated 150,000 killed and more than nine million fleeing their homes in the last three years, is certainly home to those forgotten, and in need of understanding, comfort and help.

The BBC’s Ian Pannell, who is the first Western broadcaster in Aleppo this year, wrote on Monday that Syrians 'feel shunned by what they see as the indifference of the outside world. They are defenceless in the face of incessant attacks, caught between two sides determined to fight to the bitter end and with little hope of either respite or relief.'

Sr Maria, an Argentine native, has chosen to go to Aleppo to help her two fellow sisters of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, who assist Bishop George Abou Khazen, the city’s apostolic vicar; she will also work in a student hostel for Christian girls.

FULL STORY Argentine nun heads to Syria after Pope's call to peripheries (CNA)

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