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Development and Peace: 50 years

The pain of one is the pain of another

By Armella Sonntag


“D&P and I have a long history,” Sister Margaret Sadler, sej, wrote me in an email recently. Indeed they do! Sister Margaret said she has been involved with the work of D&P for 49 years and remembers helping with the first Share Lent campaign.

In the early years she animated D&P in the high school in B.C. where she worked. When she was in Manitoba, where she spent most of her years, she was Winnipeg diocesan president for three years, and served on the national Education Committee for six years in the 1980s.

She promoted the work of D&P wherever she could, in the parishes, missions, among CWL members, in her religious congregation and among the associates of her congregation. Her most recent years of service have been in the northern Archdiocese of Keewatin Le-Pas from 2000 to 2015.

Sister Margaret will be receiving a D&P 50th Anniversary Certificate of Recognition. In response, she wrote, “I certainly learned a lot and was influenced by many people within the organization. I think my appreciation for this acknowledgement is primarily a celebration of the ways the Canadian bishops and the members of D&P (and now D&P - CARITAS Canada) have helped our Canadian Catholic Church be more informed and connected to our brothers and sisters in the Global South and elsewhere.”

One of the campaigns that stands out particularly for Sister Margaret was the 1979 letter-writing campaign supporting the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. Their children and grandchildren had disappeared under the military dictatorship. In 1993 she visited Argentina for her congregation and had the opportunity to visit the Plaza de Mayo. “I walked in the plaza and prayed and I felt that I was touching something very important; connecting people, connecting the whole. It was a powerful experience (telling me) that we aren’t separate. The pain of one is the pain of another.”

Thank you, Sister Margaret, for connecting people and connecting the whole!