E F pastor emeritus has an intriguing tale from everyday life over on his blog. Please take the time to go visit and see how you can help/support, but meanwhile here is an extract...
It all started about a year ago, when I was enrolled in a “Communication: Access to Power” course. When the facilitator asked us what we were hoping to get out of this weekend, people stood up and shared things like how they wanted to have richer communications with loved ones, and hoped to discover how to minimize the conflicts with co-workers in the office.
We were all dying to know why the small Irish American nun in the back of the room was here, and a hush came over the nondescript conference room as she approached the podium.
“My name is Sister Mary Elizabeth Lloyd; call me Sister Mary Beth,” she said in a tone that barely registered above a whisper.
This was a person clearly uneasy in the spotlight, her pale blue eyes darting nervously around the room without looking at any one person. “I am a Filippini nun and I’m trying to improve my negotiation skills.”
The comment cocked many an eyebrow in the room. Was this really some boardroom brawler in disguise, a titan of industry who would redden the knuckles of Donald Trump with a ruler until he begged for mercy?
The instructor, sharing our amusement, used a slightly patronizing inflection to ask, “Sister, what do you negotiate?”
“I negotiate for the welfare of children,” she replied, a small, content smile escaping her lips. “My mission work takes me down to the bus stations of Brazil.
“Parents bring their little children down to the terminal so that visitors can rent them for sexual purposes. Some of these poor boys and girls aren’t even 10 years old, yet working their children as prostitutes is the only means of support the family has.”
“A group of us nuns visit the bus terminal and outbid the travelers. We pay the parents what they would make for an afternoon of the little child’s time. We then take the boy or girl and play with them or buy them ice cream.
“So, I decided to take this course so that I can improve my negotiation skills and spend less money in my dealings so that I have more cash to reach more children.”