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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Prayers for Sacre-Coeur Ghamra and all of Egypt

Seven sisters of four different nationalities arrived in Egypt in November 1903
and welcomed their first student on March 1, 1904. Their inspiration: the intuition
of a great educator: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat. From 1904 to the present day,
in spite of all the difficulties due to political unrest and to the constraints
of educational policies, “Sacré-Coeur Ghamra” pursued its
mission, true to its educational goals. 

The following message is from Kathleen Conan, RSCJ, Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart regarding our Sacred Heart family in Egypt.

"I have been in communication with Magda Khalifa, the provincial of Egypt, and want to share with you the situation of our sisters there.  All of our sisters are safe.  The community of Ghamra in Cairo has gone to the community in Heliopolis as there are demonstrations and movement in the streets near Ghamra and it is safer that the sisters be in Heliopolis.  In the other places where we are, we are also safe although there is fear, as churches, schools and dispensaries near where we are in Abou-Korkas andBayadeya have been attacked and burned.  Three sisters are at a house by the sea as it is summer, and will not be able to return until it is safer.   
At the same time we understand that 63 Christian churches have been burned and that the schools, dispensaries and service centers of several religious congregations have been attacked and burned.  The ones we are aware of are of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, the Franciscans, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon and the Jesuits. The sisters and others were told to leave, and then the buildings were burned.  We are grateful that the people are safe.  At one church near Bayadeya, our sisters talked with a priest who said that the neighbors – Muslim and Christian – protected the priests so that they would not be killed.  Surely there are other such situations of mutual help and protection. 
 Let us pray for our sisters in Egypt, for their safety, their courage, their efforts to live this difficult time in a non-violent way that will help build peace in the country.  With them, we pray for the whole people of Egypt, for safety and peace."
From Superior General Kathleen Conan, RSCJ
 (August 17, 2013) 

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