Year of Sisters: A Place Called Mercy

Their patients are many. Their workdays endless. But for the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena?

Name: Sister Sara
Order: Dominican sisters of St. Catherine of Siena
Facility: Mother of Mercy Clinic
Location: Zerqa, Jordan

Their patients are many. Their workdays endless. But for the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena? Helping the needy who flock to Mother of Mercy Clinic in Zerqa, Jordan is a job that has to be done.

Sister Sara knows this well. The town struggles with poverty, crime and pollution. More than half of all residents in some neighborhoods live below the poverty line.

Ever since she arrived from Iraq to work in this busy facility 15 years ago, Sister Sara has helped provide health care to thousands. From local factory workers to Iraqi, Syrian and Palestinian refugees, everyone is treated regardless of creed or nationality.

But at its heart? Mother of Mercy Clinic is a sanctuary for poor mothers and children. Although the sisters specialize in prenatal and postnatal care, children of all ages receive treatment their families could never otherwise afford.

“The most lovely time to my heart is when working with these small angels for treatment and vaccinations,” Sister Sara explains. “A small kid named Wadi was afraid to come near me and used to run away. But I talked to him gently and provided him with chocolate. He asked me to visit them at their house and we did. When they moved, he invited me to visit again, insisting they have a spare room for me!”

In Jordan’s traditional culture, the sisters have gained the community’s trust. As Sister Sara points out, “A female patient told me that her parents are not afraid when she comes to the clinic by herself, as the nuns make them feel comfortable and secure.”

She remembers treating one 65-year-old diabetic. “He used to visit twice a week until he died. I will not forget his words, ‘I was lucky to come to the clinic. You have treated me with kindness and love. Your words encouraged me to bear my pain and suffering.’.”

Unfortunately, excellent care is expensive to provide. Medical equipment, drugs and supplies have to be imported. And because the sisters treat their poorest patients for free, the clinic depends on donations to meet its budget.

That’s why Sister Sara is so grateful to the donors of Catholic Near East Welfare Association. But with their patient roster increasing, she and her fellow sisters need your help more than ever. As they serve the poor. As they serve humanity with compassion, the only way they know.

Thousands of sisters. Millions of small miracles.

To support the good work of sisters throughout CNEWA’s world, click here.

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