St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Hightstown, will sponsor a workshop entitled “The Plight of Refugees and Forced Migrants Worldwide: Sharing the Responsibility” March 4 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the church community room at 251 Franklin Street. The guest speaker will be Sister Eileen Reilly, a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and consultant to the United Nations.
Judy Camisa, a member of the St. Anthony Parish Social Justice Committee, explained the impetus for the workshop was her visit to a migrant population while on vacation in Rome. She and a friend, a member of the SSND order, took a side trip to a nearby small town where 43 refugees lived in one house, and Camisa’s eyes were opened to the problem of displaced populations.
“I felt like the Lord was hitting me on the head,” Camisa remembered. “I was moved by their stories. I came back home, spoke with our Social Justice Group, and we set up this workshop.”
Sister Eileen holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the College of Notre Dame, Wilton, Conn., and first served as an elementary and secondary school educator, primarily teaching math and religion to fourth through 12th grade students in suburban and inner-city schools. Her last teaching job at a Boston inner-city high school in the midst of the busing crisis was the impetus for her transition into campus ministry with a focus on peace and justice.
From 1980-1987, Sister Eileen worked as a campus minister at an urban campus parish, primarily focusing on justice and peace concerns, and was a member and chair on the inter-denominational campus ministry team at Northeastern University, as well as serving as a resource for 12 other colleges and universities. In 1981, she earned a master’s degree in peace and justice education from St. Mary College in Winona, Minn.
In 1998, Sister’s order was granted special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). This status offers the congregation the opportunity to actively participate in the work of the United Nations by presenting written and oral testimony to ECOSOC and its commissions, particularly on issues related to the welfare and education of girls and women, economic justice, and sustainable development.
The workshop is free and open to the public. For further information, contact Judy Camisa at 609-448-4830.