It was some two thousand years ago in a small village nestled in the hills west of Jerusalem –that two women met, their bellies swollen with new life- filled with a new hope for all mankind. Vatican Radio report today , in these same hills, the Daughters of Charity run a special home for physically and mentally disabled children in Ain Karem. The sisters, with an international team of volunteers, care for 60-70 children from the Jerusalem area but also from Arab Bedouin areas like Beit Sheba. Here, in the sisters’ loving care, Arab and Jewish families support and comfort each other in their grief and work in unison to defend their children’s rights and dignity.
Sr. Susan Sheehan, DC is one of five sisters and dozens of volunteers who parent the children in Ain Karem. Their children are so severely handicapped that many cannot raise their heads much less walk or even eat by themselves. Theirs are children who many people today would say have no reason to live or should die because they are a burden on society. But to Sr. Susan and her team, these little lives are no burden. Her quandary is simply: can she do enough for them?
- How does society react to severely handicapped children?
- Have you ever had any contact with a severely handicapped person?
- Who takes care of those who fall between the cracks?