News & Events


Sisters-to-Sisters, Scranton-to-Syria

As the Baker’s Dozen mission group considered the plight of people victimized by the violent, four year old civil war in Syria, direct assistance did not appear to be an option. Collaborating with missionary sisters of other congregations, not a new concept for Scranton IHM’s, did seem to be a viable avenue of participation.

The Good Shepherd Sisters are actively assisting war refugees both in Syria and Lebanon. There are four refugee centers in Damascus and two in Homs. Catholic Relief Services assists the sisters by providing medications, food and milk.

Sister Kinda Tarabeh (pictured above), a Good Shepherd sister, serves the refugees in Homs. Two floors of the convent have been cleared for children to have before and after school support. The children need food, hygiene, medicine and a sense of safety in the midst of violence. Sister Kinda’s own nieces and nephews call her each day to let her know they got home safely from school. Because the average rent for a refugee family in Damascus costs almost 20 times their average salary, multiple families need to live together and children are sometimes sent to work rather than to school.

For this reason, Baker’s Dozen chose to assist refugee families by trying to subsidize their rent. During Assembly 2018, they invited other IHMs to participate in this endeavor. The mission group felt that the sisters “on the ground” in Syria, would know how best to use their donations. To date, the IHM sisters have contributed almost four months’ rent. During the 2018 Chapter we committed ourselves to re-envisioning how we can best serve the world both now and in the future, contemplating ways true to our charism, deep collective stories, and diverse gifts. In that spirit, Sister Angela Mary Parker generously donated to the Sisters-to-Sisters project, noting that she gave in memory of her parents who were born in Syria.

Contact Information

Checks, sent to the IHM Development Office, may be made out to "Sisters of IHM" with a notation "Sisters-to-Sisters" on the memo line. The Baker’s Dozen Mission Group is ever grateful for your consideration of this request.