Wild wisdom from dung beetles and their friends

You have to like this book title: Ostriches, Dung Beetles, and Other Spiritual Masters, A Book of Wisdom from the Wild.

Dung beetles, yeah.

McLaughlin Janice CroppedIt’s a new book by Sister Janice McLaughlin, president of the Ossining-based Maryknoll Sisters, who did missions work in Zimbabwe in Central Africa for the past 30 years.

It’s been described to me as “a lovely little book of meditations on African animals from the wild, their characteristics and what they have to say to us.”

McLaughlin explains: “From Kilimanjaro to Cape Town, I have been privileged to interact with the people who live in harmony with nature and with the abundance of wildlife that make the continent such a Garden of Eden.”

She will be available to sign copies of the book at the Maryknoll Sisters’ annual International Bazaar on Saturday (Oct. 24) at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, 10 Pinesbridge Road, in Ossining.

Booths will display items from Africa, the Americas, East and South Asia and the Pacific Islands, areas where the Maryknoll Sisters work in mission. The purpose of the bazaar is to raise funds to support the sisters and their work.

Directions are HERE. The bazaar is from 10 to 4 and Sister McLaughlin will be there all day.


Maryknoll Sisters choose new leaders

The Ossining-based Maryknoll Sisters recently elected a new leadership team for the next six years.

And you’re looking at them.

The new president of the community is Sister Janice McLaughlin (far right), from Pittsburgh, who entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 1961. Check out her very interesting background, from Maryknoll:

Sister Janice was assigned to Africa where she has worked for more than 30 years. She was first Communications Coordinator of the Catholic church in Kenya training journalists and broadcasters. In 1977 she was sent to what was then Rhodesia to serve as Press Secretary for the Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace. After only three months, she was arrested, detained and deported for documenting the war crimes of the government of Ian Smith. After her deportation in Sept. 1977, she worked with the Washington Office on Africa, (WOA), a church based lobby group that helped to educate the American public and Congress about African affairs. In 1979 she became the Projects Officer for the Zimbabwe Project, a new initiative set up by a consortium of Catholic donors to assist refugees from the war in Rhodesia; she was based in Mozambique, visiting refugee camps and raising funds for them.

After Independence in 1980, Sister Janice was invited by the independent government of Zimbabwe to work as education consultant in the President’s Office. She helped to build nine schools for former refugees and war veterans and to develop a new system of education which linked academic subjects with technical training. In 1985, she helped to establish the Zimbabwe Mozambique Friendship Association (ZIMOFA), which assisted displaced people in Mozambique who were caught in the civic war.

Between 1992 and ‘97, she became the Communications Coordinator for the Maryknoll Sisters in New York and served as liaison with Maryknoll Magazine and Orbis Books. Returning to Zimbabwe in 1997, she became the training coordinator for Silveira House, a leadership training and development education center run by the Jesuits for the poor and marginalized. Sister Janice is the author of several books on her work and the situation in Africa and numerous articles in various publications.

The other members of the leadership team are: Sister Rebecca Macugay, (second from right), who was elected vice president; and Sisters Anne Hayden (left) and Bitrina Kirway.

You can read more about them on the Maryknoll Sisters’ Website.