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July 2011

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In This Issue
Video:The Apopka Story
Kids in Motion
Catalysts for Change
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apopka daughters and dad and flag
U.S. Citizenship Program Central to Sisters' Apopka Mission
Officials from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service meet with clients from the Sisters' Hope CommUnity Center at various times throughout the year. This past February, more than 120 attendees packed into the Center's meeting hall to learn about the process requirements and importance of attaining U.S. citizenship. Officers conducted a mock naturalization interview to prepare attendees for their own proceedings. Becoming a U.S. citizen is the final step for immigrants who have  been living in the U.S. as legal, permanent residents for more than five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen. Hope CommUnity Center staff holds a variety of citizenship classes and workshops for their clients throughout the year. The journey toward U.S. citizenship can be an intimidating and lengthy process, requiring education, persistence and patience. Hope CommUnity Center provides exactly what its name says it does. Its mission states that it is "dedicated to empowering central Florida's immigrant and working poor communities through education, advocacy and spiritual growth."

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In Mickey's Back Yard   

"What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God."

- Micah 6:8 

Sisters Plant Hope in Lives of Migrant Workers    

Apopka, Fla., located among citrus farms and plant nurseries 40 miles northwest of Orlando's Walt Disney World, has been home to struggling migrant families and newly arrived immigrants for decades. In the 1960s and 70s, the farm workers' impoverished living conditions came to the attention of the Catholic Diocese of Orlando.The bishop asked the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to consider establishing a mission in the region. (See video below.) This year, the Sisters are celebrating 40 years of empowering and educating the region's children and families at the Apopka Family Learning Center and the Hope CommUnity Center. Your donations to U.S. Projects will help the Sisters continue their important work.

Kids in Motion: Moving Forward Together!     

girl reading 

Every afternoon at the Apopka Family Learning Center, Sisters and volunteers tutor children ages five to 10 in reading comprehension and writing as well as math. Known as Kids in Motion, the after-school program has "graduated" approximately 1,200 fifth graders since its inception in 1995. "It's hard for my parents to help me with homework because they don't speak English," says one recent program graduate, highlighting a major stumbling block for so many children of recent immigrants.     

The Apopka Mission Story: How It All Began
"They were four women bound by a sense of purpose..." This short video was made to celebrate the Sisters' 2006 Opus Prize, an annual faith-based award recognizing unsung heroes across the globe. Sister Ann Kendrick, one of the founding Sisters of the Apopka mission, believes that living one's faith requires only three simple rules...
Apopka Ministry History  
Apopka 3 young women learningCatalysts for Change...
The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur believe that to educate and empower impoverished families is to build more stable, creative and resilient communities. At their Apopka mission, the Sisters offer affordable health and legal services as well as a variety of programs such as financial literacy and parenting education classes, high school equivalency degrees and practical skills for navigating complexities of modern life. Here, young women at the Hope CommUnity Center learn about managing finances and the logistics of opening and maintaining personal bank accounts. 
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After launching our e-newsletter six months ago, we have seen a steady increase in subscribers. It appears that a number of you forward to a friend on a regular basis  -- always a terrific way to help us build community! Please keep up the good work! Every time you forward this e-newsletter and encourage your friends to join our mailing list, the more we connect with others who support our work. A quick click on your part helps us build and strengthen communities of peace and justice around the world. 

In gratitude,

Sister Leonore Coan

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Congregational Mission Office