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The Global Coordinating Group began its search last September and is pleased to announce that Sr. Justine Senapati, an Annecy sister from Bhubaneswar, India will be assuming the position in August. Sr. Justine joined the Sisters of St Joseph in 1992. She began her ministry as a teacher and then a formator in their candidate and temporary profession programs.
Sr. Justine’s life was dramatically changed on August 23, 2008 when sectarian violence between Hindus and Christians broke out in her native Kandhamal, Odisha. Sr. Justine describes the violence, “Houses were burnt, possessions were ransacked, and women became widows, even gave birth to babies in the bare ground. People had to run for their lives to jungles to hide in the chilly, windy and rainy season. Hindu fundamentalists sought out Christians and killed them just because they were Christians. Along with the faithful the priests and nuns were targeted. My only brother was targeted to be killed and although deeply traumatized, he escaped. The people were in great fear, trauma and agony. There was no one to listen to their frightful stories. I asked permission to provide part-time service to the people of this area. As I listened to the cry and misery of the people, my heart melted and my eyes were opened. I found Christ and His mission in a new way at this moment. Through this work, the Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar asked me to assume the Secretary to Women Commission.”
This experience on the Women’s Commission, combined with her educational background and the encouragement of her community, moved Sr. Justine to apply for the Congregations of St Joseph position at the United Nations. In her applications Sr. Justine said, “I am interested to offer myself to work at the UN so that the voices of the marginalized as well as those who deserve a better quality of life in the face of injustice and discrimination at various levels can be addressed. I would give my best for the cause and the organization.”
Sr. Justine will be coming for a three-month internship at the UN-NGO, which will greatly assist in the transition. She will be attending the International Justice and Peace Commission meeting at the UN in April 2014 also.