Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sister Maryanne Pierre: keeping doors to Baghdad hospital open

In the CNN series heroes, this Dominican nun is featured. (Click above to read her story).

"The maternity ward at St. Raphael's Hospital in central Baghdad is crammed with wailing newborns. The abundance of premature babies is a little-known consequence of war, explained Sister Maryanne Pierre, the hospital's director.

"The fear caused many women to have premature births," she told Catholic news service ZENIT. "Three-hundred fifty babies were born in two weeks."

The flood of pregnant women came along with the constant stream of sick and injured who sought treatment at the four-story hospital, one of the few to remain open in the Iraqi capital during the war.

Sister Pierre, 58, a raspy-voiced Dominican nun, kept treating patients even as bombs fell around her and looters ransacked nearby buildings.

"This is my job to stay here to help people," she said in an interview with CBS News. "Even during the first Gulf War we stayed. It's our duty to stay here for all the people."

Her colleagues say Sister Pierre, who was born in Iraq and studied nursing in the United States, has kept the hospital open through every conflict over two decades." Via CNN

Her previously unknown efforts to keep the doors of a hospital open in the face of looting and violence are now known- and here at Wheelie Catholic , I wanted to mention this.

Why? Because, although we don't talk much or read much about it, there are religious clergy and nuns in danger in various parts of the world every day. It's too easy to forget how their lives are in danger and the sacrifices they make and how much they need our prayers.

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