Happy Easter from Mother Martha Driscoll and the Community of Gedono (Ethiopia)

May the flames that ravaged the Cathedral of Notre Dame

– and our hearts –

enkindle within the souls of the post-Christian World,

through the pain of loss,

a nostalgia for the True, the Good and the Beautiful,

and the desire for New Life

found through the death and resurrection Jesus Christ:

 Surrexit Dominus!

We also ask your prayers for the national elections in Indonesia today for President and Congress and its aftermath. It seems the present President will be reelected, as we hope. But the opposition which favors moving toward an Islamic State, has warned they will not accept defeat and threatens violent protests if their candidate doesn’t win. Some hard line, radical parties in that coalition are backed by more than 15.000.000 followers of ISIS.

In deep comunion,

Martha and the community of Gedono

Mother Martha Driscoll, O.C.S. O., (Ethiopia 1965-67) graduated from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (at that time, women were not allowed in the undergraduate A&S College) and joined the Peace Corps. After Training at the University of Utah, she went to Ethiopia  as a secondary school teacher in Addis Ababa, where, as a wonderful singer and actress, she also “starred” in several play productions staged by British Ex-pats in the city.

After her tour, she returned to New York City and Staten Island where she had grown up, and worked for awhile in New York before going to Boston and earning an MFA in Theater from Brandeis University. It was during this period, she told me, that she began to question what she wanted to do with her life, and on a trip to Europe she visited and then entered a monastery in Italy where she took her religious vows.

In the summer of ’87 she returned to the States and we met in New York. She was on her way to Indonesia, being sent there by the monastery to become the superior of a new foundation of Cistercians. She is still there, now serving as Abbess. In her expanding role she also gives retreats for nuns and monks in Asia, Africa, and the U.S., besides giving conferences for Indonesian religious about the spirituality of communion and consecrated celibacy. While we know there are pastors and priests and rabbis and ministers as well as nuns who began their careers as PCVs, it is quite possible that Martha (as we knew her in Addis Ababa) is our only RPCV Trappistine, a cloistered nun.


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  • Thanks, John. An exemplary life. I think a lot of us who donated part of our lives to world understanding and tolerance, share Martha’s concern about the rise of Fundamentalist Islam and Jihad against the “Infidels”, which includes literally everybody else in this world. Like a concerted campaign of violence and warfare, to turn back the clock to the Mediaeval Age.. And the growing concern about world political “leaders” who seem utterly ignorant or indifferent to where, by their own words, all of this is intended to go, by whatever totalitarian means available. A pretty grim prognosis for everything that the thousands of PCVs stood for. john Turnbull Lower Canoncito, New Mexico

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