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US nun on mission to rescue tsunami pets
American Sister Michael Marie rescued a rabbit in Brazil in February. The nun, 36, is now visiting Japan to rescue animals affected by the tsunami, earthquake and radiation from damaged power plants.
- April 18, 2011
The nun looks at the painting of Jesus surrounded by sheep and sees "a search-and-rescue mission."
After all, according to the parable of the lost sheep, Jesus will seek out and welcome back wayward members of his flock, just as a good shepherd would.
Sister Michael Marie, 36, travels the world to do the same for animals that are left alone, injured and hungry after disasters.
She has worked on the Gulf Coast and in Chile, Brazil and Japan to serve all of God's creatures, including dogs, cats and other helpless animals. She always wears her full nun's habit, even while helping with a spay or neuter operation.
Today, she leaves for another trip to Japan, this one about a week long, to help animals affected by the tsunami, earthquake and radiation from damaged power plants. She returned from her first relief trip to Japan on Tuesday to perform some of her local duties, such as distributing food to the poor.
Sister Michael Marie lives with another nun in Clarksburg, in northwestern Ross County. They are part of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, a tiny order of missionary women who focus on acts of mercy for people in prison, hospitals and nursing homes.
The nun said she tries to help the humans, too. Her luggage includes food and clothing for the Japanese.
Humans have a responsibility to "respond with care to restore (animals) to wholeness and healthiness" after disasters, said the Rev. Ron Atwood, a priest at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in the Harrison West neighborhood. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals.
"Caring for other creatures does not need to drain our attention or draw our attention away from caring for human beings," Atwood said.
Nun cares for quake-stranded pets (Columbus Dispatch)