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Our Opinion: Nun better

February 28, 2001

We have been hearing a lot in the news recently about faith-based organizations and the contributions they can make to our society. Nowhere in the Imperial Valley is there more evidence of what faith-based groups can do than in the Posada del Sol apartment complex in north El Centro.

The Posada, as it is usually called, used to be well-known in the Valley, and not for good things. The large apartment complex was plagued by crime, vandalism, gangs, malaise and a general bad vibe. Anyone who didn't live there didn't want to visit, unless they were going there to purchase things they shouldn't be purchasing.

Then, about 10 years ago, the Our Lady of Missionary Victory Sisters, led by Sister Evelyn Mourey, opened a community center in the Posada. Cliff Samples, the owner of the apartment complex, essentially gave an apartment over to the sisters for free. Samples was both generous and prescient, as the center, which has since grown to three apartments and offers classes in English as well as knitting, crocheting and sewing and serves as a food distribution center, has proved to be a catalyst for positive change at Posada.

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Crime and gang problems have nearly disappeared in recent years at the Posada, although the owners also have made a concerted effort to clean up the complex. Things have gotten much better at the Posada in recent years as a new attitude and spirit of hope has taken hold in the neighborhood, which means people there no longer have to live in fear.

The center, which had been known as Centro Siempre Aprendiendo, or the Always Learning Center, was rededicated Monday as the Sister Evelyn Mourey Center. A grateful crowd from the apartments came to laud the Our Lady of Missionary Victory Sisters and Sister Evelyn for all they have done for the neighborhood.

This is far from the first good act this group of sisters has done for our Imperial Valley. These Catholic nuns have dedicated their lives to making this a better place to live. Their devotion and selflessness is remarkable.

If faith-based assistance mean work such as this, then we may be moving in the right direction.

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