Sisters’ Acts of Mercy

When ISIS extremists rolled across Iraq’s Nineveh Plain in 2014, tens of thousands of Christians fled to Kurdish-controlled areas of Iraq. They still wait in limbo in crowded camps. Their only certainty is that whatever happens to them, a group of Dominican nuns will be at their side. “We will not leave our people. Wherever they go, we will go with them,” said Sister Luma Khudher, a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena. The Iraqi congregation was founded in Mosul in the late 19th century, and over the decades the nuns have operated schools and clinics throughout the country. The nuns became the de facto managers of aid for much of the displaced community in Irbil. “The sisters were everywhere. When we asked about the needs of the displaced, no one could answer with any authority except the Dominican sisters,” said Michel Constantin, the regional director for the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

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