Major award for nun who helps domestic workers


Sr. Jeanne Devos acclaimed for her achievements.

Posted on September 20, 2012, 5:00 PM

Sr Jeanne Devos with Indian domestic workers. (

Mumbai:A Belgian nun who has spent the past 48 years in India has received a prestigious award for her work with domestic workers.

Sr. Jeanne Devos was awarded the Ramakrishna Bajaj Memorial Global Award for her “outstanding contributions to protecting the rights of domestic workers” at the 28th Priyadarshni Global Awards in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The award was presented to the nun by federal health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

The Priyadarshni Academy was established to recognize and honor Indian talent. Awards are also presented every other year to achievers from around the world in different disciplines.

In her acceptance speech, the Immaculate Heart of Mary nun highlighted some of the problems associated with domestic work, such as the trafficking of women and children, low wages, absence of strong legislation to protect them and physical and sexual abuse by employers.

Despite a serious back problem arising from an injury suffered more than 20 years ago, the nun travels across the country establishing domestic worker groups that are coordinated nationally by the National Domestic Workers Movement.

Sister Devos began her work in the early 1970’s, when bishops in the Chotanagpur region of Bihar state expressed concern at the number of tribal girls leaving their homeland to work as domestics in big cities.

The bishops then commissioned a survey which resulted in the birth of the Domestic Workers’ Movement.

The sister was at that time working in Dindigul in Tamil Nadu but moved to Mumbai where she came in to closer contact with the world of domestic workers.

Her work put her in touch with hundreds of girls in Mumbai, Delhi, Bihar, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Sister Devos launched Bombay Houseworkers Solidarity in 1985 at the request of tribal bishops in Bihar and neighboring Madhya Pradesh state.

The movement aims at achieving social justice for housemaids.

The nun has also launched a national campaign in collaboration with similar organizations in various Indian cities to get these women recognized as workers and not “housemaids or servants.”


Sr. Jeanne Devos , Belgian Nun , Domestic Workers , Priyadarshni Academy
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Holy Land custodian to make historic Indian visit


The Custos of the Holy Land is the Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor living throughout the Middle East.


Posted on September 20, 2012, 5:11 PM


New Delhi:

The Custos of the Holy land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa is visiting India for the first time in its 700 years of its existence.

Incontro con Pizzaballa

Incontro con Pizzaballa (Photo credit: don Tommaso)

During his six-day visit starting September 24, the Franciscan priest will interact with the Indian bishops, priests, nuns, religious and seminarians.

A day after his arrival in Bangalore, the priest will attend a session with the Religious and priests, Students and staff of the Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (DVK), Pontifical Athenaeum of Philosophy, Theology and Canon law.

The theme of the meet in DVK, Bangalore is “Holy Land: The Christian Concerns.”

On September 28, Fr. Pizzaballa attends the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) at St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore.

He will address the Catholic hierarchy of India on the concerns of the Indian pilgrimages to Holy Land.

Jerusalem: The Three Roads to the Holy Land

      Jerusalem: The Three Roads               to the Holy Land                        (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fr. Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu, a Franciscan serving in the Holy Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem and the chaplain of the Indian migrant Community and the pilgrims in the Holy Land, said Indian pilgrims have not fully benefited with the service.

1759 map of the Holy Land and 12 tribes, showi...

1759 map of the Holy Land and 12 tribes, showing Dor as part of Manasseh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He said the Indian tour operators, local agents, and guides have not shown enough interest and commitment to make the pilgrimage a faith-renewing experience for many.

In responding to such needs, issues and concerns of the Pilgrims in the Holy land Indian Chaplaincy of the Holy Land is inviting the customs of the Holy Land.

He said Fr. Pizzaballa will suggest certain guidelines and suggestions, how to organize pilgrimages to Holy land.

He is here also to encourage Franciscans and other priests to enter the minister of the Holy land pilgrimages in the future.

The Custos of the Holy Land is the Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor living throughout the Middle East.

He has jurisdiction over the territories of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt (in part), Cyprus and Rhodes and numerous houses or Commissariats in various parts of the world.

The main task of the Custos, in addition to animating the life of the friars, is to coordinate and direct the reception of pilgrims who come to the Holy Land for pilgrimage and pray at the shrines of our Redemption.

This task was bestowed by the Holy See over 600 years ago. The term used at those times to designate this task was “custody” of the holy places, from which derived the terms still in use “Custody” and “Custos.”

The most important role of the Custos, therefore, is to receive pilgrims at the Holy Shrines, offer them spaces of prayer and make available hostels for those who cannot afford expensive hotels.

The Custos ensures that friars are available to receive and talk with pilgrims at the holy places. His jurisdiction includes all the Catholic Christian sanctuaries.


Holy Land ,Custodian ,Historic Visit ,Indian Visit ,Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa ,Pilgrimage



FOUNTAIN OF NAZARETH (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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