Saint Anthony of Padua Regional Catholic School
913 Pierce Street Philadelphia, PA 19148-1618
215-468-0353

 

The Filippini Sisters in Action!


This video is a glimpse of the good works accomplished by the Filippini 
Sisters in response to both Pope Francis' plea and their General Chapter 
Study. Presented Community Day May 7, 2016.
FILIPPINI SISTERS: GOING OUT TOWARDS... THE PERIPHERY

Sister Mary Beth Lloyd, M.P.F. is an ultramarathoner and the author of 
AIDS Orphans Rising. Sister Mary Beth and the Sisters Filippini work with 
AIDS orphans in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Brazil, India and Albania.
Sister Mary Beth Lloyd, MPF
ON A MISSION TO SAVE ORPHANS

Sister Mary Elizabeth Lloyd, 60, known simply as Sister Mary Beth, grew up 
in Red Bank and Little Silver – the only girl of four children. She fondly
remembers summers at the Jersey Shore, swimming for driftwood in Sea 
Bright and hanging out in front of Golden’s Men’s Shop in Red Bank with 
her brothers.
Although she attended Red Bank Catholic High School for 3 years, a 
scholarship offer for a year of nursing school brought her, in her senior 
year, to Villa Victoria Academy in Trenton. There she met the  Filippini 
nuns, and realized her calling. A doctorate in nutrition and public health 
from Columbia University and time working at New York City’s Sloan-
Kettering Cancer Center guided her to her dream of becoming a missionary.

As the world wide Missionary Director for the Filippini Religious Teachers
since 1995, Sister Mary Beth, approximately 80 other nuns, and countless
volunteers have been helping women, girls at risk, orphans, AIDS orphans, 
and child-headed households  (CHH) in Albania, Brazil, Ethiopia, Eritrea, 
and India. Their goals are to provide elementary education, training in
micro-enterprises (like sewing, cultivating, and teaching) and even 
finding local jobs for them. The odds stacked against them are staggering; 
a  new CHH begins every 14 seconds, and the number of AIDS orphans will 
nearly double to 25 million by next year. This year there will be 67,000 
new AIDS orphans in the U.S. alone, but Sister Mary Beth always has hope. 
“For $10 I can buy 400 rolls, and some  children only eat one roll a day. 
Even a small donation goes a long way.”

Her beautiful weathered face hints of the atrocities she has seen. “There 
was this little guy, 6 years old, and he had TB of the bone… He sits up in 
bed and says, Oh, if I could just have a glass of milk I know I can get 
better!’ Or the 6 children in Brazil who  were kidnapped on their way to 
the mission school and had their organs harvested for sale on the black 
market…their small bodies found later, gutted and dumped. Or the lucky, 
but terrified, seventh child who was found tied to a bed awaiting a 
similar fate. Then  there are the hundreds of young girls and boys (ages 
6-9) rescued after being sold by their desperate families into 
prostitution; their young age makes them theoretically free of diseases…
more marketable.”

Sister Mary Beth’s soft blue eyes still sparkle as she talks about the 
hope that she has for many of these children, and the success stories that 
are sprinkled in with the horrors. There was the 12-year-old boy in 
Eritrea whose parents’ deaths left him with five rentable camels and the 
ability earn a living. He brought some of his profits, instructing, 
“Sisters, you take this money and give it to who needs it most because I 
don’t think I could do it justly.” Or the girls they set up with donated 
gelato machines and pizza ovens, who were taught to run their own 
businesses so that they can eventually go to colleges and universities. Or 
the boy who came at age 6 with his 3-year-old brother in tow and no other 
living relatives; they gave him six eggs, and he’s now a successful  
farmer, supplying eggs to the Mission. 

When Sister Mary Beth arrived in Albania, a country with little left over 
from the Communist regime, she was greeted with cries of “We love God and 
Bon Jovi!” “I would love for him to go there and do a concert for the  
children,” she says wistfully. 

She has many ideas for others to help. “Tell your friends and everyone you 
meet to keep donating anything they can. Money, of course, is wonderful, 
but clothes, shoes, even those plastic blue tarps (children use them as 
homes,  held up with sticks and boxes). They do make their way to the 
children through churches, Good Will, Save the Children, Heifer, UNICEF…”

You can also help by purchasing Sister Mary Beth’s book, “AIDS Orphans 
Rising” or go to www.AIDSOrphansRising.com.org. And, by the way, she also 
runs marathons (in her habit), speaks fluent Italian, and is happy to go 
anywhere to speak on behalf of the  orphans. She can be reached at (973) 
538-2886 
ext.124.


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