By: Jean F. Duff, MA, MPH, and Helena Manguerra
Religious belief has long inspired service to others, particularly to the most poor and vulnerable. Some may say that religious groups are the original charity service providers, but now, in our increasingly globalized world, religious groups are far from alone in their focus on the global alleviation of poverty. more
By: David G. Addiss, MD, MPH
Globalization can be deeply unsettling. Recent news headlines in the United States and the United Kingdom point to a pervasive and widespread sense of "globalization fatigue." The forces of cultural and economic globalization can threaten cherished identities, undermine long-held beliefs and endanger traditional ways of life. Globalization stretches us, makes us uncomfortable and moves — or dissolves — our boundaries. It also raises key questions about our capacity for compassion and to whom it should be extended. more
By: Joel Gilbertson, JD, MPH
Each time I participate in a health care mission trip to Guatemala, I become more aware of what we take for granted in the U.S. On my most recent visit as part of a surgical relief team, it was mobility — specifically wheelchairs — that I mentally added to my list. more
By: Bruce Compton
Short-term medical mission trips invest millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to provide people in the developing world with health care. The trips score high in terms of good intentions — but not necessarily in return on investment. Despite years of increasing popularity, health service trips have lacked a standardized evaluation process to assess patient safety, quality control and mission impact. Now, after two years of research and study, the Catholic Health Association has released 20 best-practice recommendations for U.S. organizations considering, conducting and evaluating short-term medical mission trips in low- and middle-income countries. more
By: Katherine A. Taylor, Ph.D.
Global health is a relatively new enterprise. It arose in response to the need for global cooperation to address health concerns that transcend national boundaries. It differs from international health or public health in both motivation and approach — global health envisions a world in which all people have equal access to healthy lives, based on the principle that all lives matter. In approach, it encompasses and emphasizes dignity and respect for the individual, communities and nations. more
By: Sr. Patricia Talone, RSM, Ph.D.
When I was in first grade, our benevolent and portly pastor, Fr. Kelly, on one of his weekly visits to the first grade classroom, asked, "How many girls would like to be sisters when they grow up?" We all greatly admired our teacher, so every girl's hand shot up, waving in the air — save one.
"Miss Talone, why don't you want to be a sister?" he queried. Although a little intimidated, I answered that I had other hopes for the future, among them to travel and see the whole world. Fr. Kelly later recounted the exchange to my parents, warning them that I expected a privileged life. more