Sr. Catherine is someone who makes you want to do better.
It can be unjust to evaluate poverty, to compare one person's suffering to another. Poverty is universal and yet there are places in which people are really hanging on to the bottom rung. There is more active slavery, sex slavery and children working in horrible conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The poverty there is profound and the challenge before Bon Pasteur is immense.
No one can do this work by themselves and I was impressed with team Sr. Catherine has surrounded herself with. She arrived, looked to the people for guidance on what issues to tackle and grew her organization with well-established best practices. Everybody has a role and those roles correspond to their different strengths.
The people there love her and and genuinely glad to see her. Receiving the Opus Prize would allow Bon Pasteur to continue what they are doing and expand their vision for the future.
What a blessing it is to be able to experience first-hand this work and now be able to share the work Sr. Catherine is doing with the SLU community. I don't know if I can overstate the strength of spirit she possesses. Seeing the work Sr. Catherine is doing makes you more hopeful about the human race.
Stephen Belt, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of aviation science in Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. He joined the aviation science department in 1998 and has served as flight training director, senior check airman, pilot and instructor. He went to the Democratic Republic of Congo to evaluate Bon Pasteur.