Jun 30, 2015


Kelli Litt | Global Sisters Report, June 29, 2015

It took a radical notion about serving the marginalized to encourage Sr. Eileen Reilly to accept a job at the United Nations.

The position had been suggested to Reilly multiple times, all of which she graciously declined. When her general superior gave a talk on radical availability, being open to God’s call and the working for the needs of all, Reilly explained that “it just went right to my soul. . . . How can I continue to say no when she’s challenging us all . . . to be radically available to the needs?”

The United Nations was founded in 1945 on the pillars of peace and security, human rights, and development. Today, those pillars still guide the work. Yet, as an inter-governmental system of 193 member states, the United Nations is only as strong as its weakest members and only as strong as each member government allows it to be. While the bureaucracy and power plays are frustrating and discouraging, the presence of non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, many of which are operated by religious communities, helps push the focus of debate to people and the planet rather than power, money, and self-interest.

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