In Japan, nun helps rescue animals after disaster

In Japan, nun helps rescue animals after disaster April 13, 2011

Who knew?  Here’s a great story about a sister exercising a unique ministry to the survivors in Japan — some of them, the four-legged variety:

Sister Michael Marie spent nearly two weeks in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami March 11, helping pet owners and farm owners cope and find hope amid the despair. Relief work is one of her callings, she says.

The 36-year-old nun from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Clarksburg, Ohio is also a trained veterinary technician, a skill she acquired before she joined the convent.

Some people left their pets behind to go into evacuation centers — and she’d go find the animals. Many stayed with their animals despite the dangers in the Fukushima prefecture — and she’d visit the families and offer support during the stressful time.

This isn’t her first journey into troubled lands and won’t be her last. She is a volunteer for Kinship Circle, a non-profit group that says it is the first U.S. organization to send ongoing animal aid into remote and hard-hit parts of Fukushima , Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures. The organization is working with Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue And Support (JEARS) — a coalition of local NGOs, including Animal Friends Niigata, Japan Cat Network, and HEART-Tokushima.

“Animals react differently when they’re under extreme stress,” she says. “I’ve been able to help not only the animals but also the people. For people with companion animals it reduces their stress if they know their animals are being cared for while they’re in evacuation centers. “

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6 responses to “In Japan, nun helps rescue animals after disaster”

  1. What a wonderful story despite an extreme disaster. This is one story of hope and courage. I will not soon forget this disaster nor will I forget this nun and her story of hope and courage. 🙂 God Bless you, Sister.

  2. I’m sure St. Francis is smiling! Thank you for sharing this story that is one bright spot in an otherwise dark time. May God bless St. Michael Marie as she works to save His precious creatures!

  3. Nice story but FYI…if these are the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart out of Clarksburg, OH, I believe they are an “independent” Traditionalist group (as in Levebre) and so not sure she is a Catholic sister in the canonical sense.

  4. This nun stayed with my neighbor during the disaster here in Brazil and she really is an angel. I love her and all of us here who worked with her here know that she is real. Our disaster and it’s effects continue. There are still many displaced dogs and their offspring to resolve around 200 still. We are trying our best apart from he normal street dog problems. If you can help then we are always grateful and allways in need. We are third world and few people care.
    help us fight the battle. It was difficult before the disaster now worse and the repercussions are still going on. We need help!

  5. TThis nun belongs to a community of sedevacantes former nuns,who believe that the Church no longer exists .They no longer celebrate the Sacraments or beleive in the priesthood.They baptise people all over the world;instructing them to pray in family.They are supported by folks who support their humantarian ministry,and who are not aware of their beliefs.

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