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Sister Janet CashmanSister Janet Cashman, center, listens as Sister Maureen Hall, SCL community director, right, leads up to the commissioning ceremony. Sister Eileen Hurley, SCL community councilor, left, later presented Sister Janet with a mission cross. (Photo from Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth)
Sister Janet Cashman
by Therese Horvat
In her ministry as a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, the foreign missions have repeatedly beckoned Sister Janet Cashman, SCL.
So it’s no surprise that she has volunteered to serve in South Sudan, Africa. Sister Janet, a former director of the Duchesne Clinic in Kansas City, Kan., left Jan. 3 for assignment in a hospital where she will train health care workers. Sister Janet will be part of the Solidarity for South Sudan initiative based in a different part of the country than Sister Patricia Johannsen, the other SCL serving this mission.
Prior to joining the SCLs in 1965, Sister Janet had what she calls a “hankering to go to the missions. I realized that I had been given so much, so why not share with others who don’t have as much.”
However, through her 19 years as an SCL serving in Peru and other mission opportunities, Sister Janet said, “I learned that it’s all about what the people teach me, about their faith, about their living in challenging situations and still maintaining their spirit and joy.”
A nurse by profession, Sister Janet spent 19 years in the Peruvian missions serving in a well-baby clinic in Talara and then coordinating the Piura diocesan health program and working with health promoters throughout parishes in the area. She anticipates that her role in the hospital in Wau, South Sudan, will be similar to the health promoters’ training but a little more sophisticated with practicum experiences for those going through the program.
Sister Janet also was a missionary in Haiti from 2001 to 2003 in a nutrition center for small children. She returned to Peru for continued work with the health promoters. She has also been clinic manager at Duchesne Clinic, Kansas City, Kan., and spent a six-month internship in Washington, D.C., with the Center of Concern and NETWORK. For the past five years, Sister Janet was coordinator of immigration services for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Gallup, N.M.
Therese Horvat is the communications director for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.