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Student Successes

This page spotlights a few of our Loyola Institute for Ministry students from East Africa. These sisters earned the Certificate in Catholic Social Teaching through the project “Catholic Sisters in Partnership for Sustainability,” funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. They are continuing their Loyola studies in our new project, “Living Charisms for Sustainable Human Development."


Sr. Anne Wandia is a member of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa, currently residing in Wau, South Sudan. 

In an article published by the Global Sisters Report, Sr. Anne writes that her studies with the Loyola Institute for Ministry have helped her and her fellow sisters "to gain the knowledge we need to become instruments of reaching out through God's grace and love.” 

Sr. Anne’s primary ministry is teacher development. Inspired by her Loyola studies, and in partnership with other local leaders, Sr. Anne led the writing and implementation of the recently launched Child Safeguarding Policy for the Catholic Diocese of Wau. She has led workshops on children’s rights for children and teachers. Sr. Anne hopes that Wau’s child protection work offers a model that can be emulated across South Sudan, the world’s youngest country. 

Sr. Anne notes, “My [LIM studies have] equipped me with a lot of knowledge, wisdom, understanding and inspiration about God, self, others and his creation and how to respond with compassionate love in bringing the reign of God on earth. The course has enriched my ministry, especially giving insights on how to partner with others and so as to be life-giving to the poor and marginalized in South Sudan."

Sr. Avelina Kimaryo is a member of the Grail congregation and a medical doctor. She manages the Neema Health Centre in Mwanga, Tanzania. Her creative leadership is saving lives, improving health outcomes, and promoting gender equality.  

Sr. Avelina’s ministry provides life-saving care, particularly for mothers and children. Applying the partnership and leadership skills honed through her Loyola studies, Sr. Avelina established a partnership with an international medical nonprofit that brings critical financial resources to the health centre. As a result, Sr. Avelina was able to coordinate the building of a new surgical unit. Since the unit opened in 2019, the clinic has performed 20 caesarean sections, avoiding dangerous emergency transfers. The partnership has also significantly increased the capacity of the clinic for medical, dental, and vision care. 

Sr. Avelina and her fellow Grail sisters were featured in As I Have Done, a film produced by Salt+Light Media in collaboration with the Loyola Institute for Ministry with the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Learn more about the Neema Health Centre and the Grail congregation’s efforts for women’s empowerment in the episode “Sisters for Equality."

Sr. Teresia Mbugua is a Missionary Sister of the Precious Blood in formation ministry. She lives with the congregation’s novices in Arusha, Tanzania. 

Sr. Teresia has enthusiastically shared her learnings with the novices and mobilized them as advocates for sustainable development, justice, and peace. 

For her Loyola studies, Sr. Teresia led a workshop for local university students about Catholic Social Teaching and sustainable development. The workshop made clear the pervasiveness of one social issue in particular— domestic violence. Sr. Teresia was inspired to collaborate with a student to write a song pleading for an end to violence. She and the novices then traveled to different parishes for Sunday mass and performed the song. Their singing moved some congregants to tears and inspired women to share their experiences of family violence.

Sr. Teresia has written an article for the Global Sisters Report about her project (publication pending). Through her leadership, Sr. Teresia is teaching her congregation’s novices, her local community, and us at Loyola how religious life can inspire compassionate advocacy for peace and human dignity.

Sr. Charity Bbalo, Religious Sister of the Holy Spirit, is a lecturer at a teachers’ college in Monze, Zambia. Studying Catholic Social Teaching has inspired Sr. Charity to take creative and collaborative action for sustainability. 

As described in her article recently published in the Global Sisters Report, Sr. Charity led a workshop on CST and care for creation for a group of women who are widows or single mothers. The women have learned to reduce demand for tree cutting by using recycled paper as an energy source. Inspired by Sr. Charity’s leadership, each woman planted a tree.

Additionally, Sr. Charity led her college in a tree planting as part of its first ever “Environment Day.” Coverage of the event by a local radio station prompted several schools to contact Sr. Charity to learn how they could host a similar event. 

Sr. Charity grounds her sustainability efforts in her faith and in Catholic Social Teaching, citing Pope Francis: “Our goal is... to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it” (Laudato si' #19).