Being & Doing Justice

Sisters of Charity, I.C. and Associates are committed to collaborating with others for social and ecological justice.  Heeding and advocating with those who suffer from poverty, violence and exclusion, we celebrate the God of Justice.  As followers of the non-violent Jesus, we pray and act for lasting peace as the fruit of justice.

Gratefully, we stand with Indigenous peoples who share their land and wisdom.  Attentive to Earth’s cries, we seek to live simply and to advocate for climate justice and energy alternatives.  Rejoicing as part of God’s unfolding universe, we celebrate with wonder, compassion and gratitude.

“In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground.  A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other.  That time is now.” ~ Wangari Maathai of Kenya (1940-2011) ~ Founder of the Green Belt Movement & Nobel Peace Prize laureate

Here is a link to the most recent issue of “The UN and You” from Sister Teresa Kotturan, a Sister of Charity of Nazareth,
Kentucky.  She is the NGO representative at the United Nations with the Sisters of Charity Federation.

 

DIALOGUE CIRCLE EXPLORES POPE’S TEACHING ON ECOLOGY

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Sister Muriel Buckley convenes a monthly dialogue circle here among Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception and Associates exploring Laudato Si’, the encyclical by Pope Francis on ecology.  The dialogue circle began gathering at St. Vincent Residence in September 2016.  It engages “On Care for Our Common Home,” a dialogue guide for the encyclical created by the Toronto-based Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice.  The guide is available from CCCB Publications (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops).  Sister Muriel accompanies refugees after ministering for 46 years in Peru.  For more about her journey, see “Vowed Members” and “Sharing Our Stories” under “Commitment.”  (SCIC photo)

 

WRITING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) and Associates organized and participated in Amnesty International letter-writing initiatives in honour of Human Rights Day here.  The first “Write for Rights” gathering took place at St. Vincent Residence on Dec. 11, 2017 -- the day after the United Nations observance.  The second event was held at Ruth Ross Residence Dec. 15.  Participants chose one or more case outlines offered by Amnesty International to advocate for prisoners of conscience and other human rights defenders who are unjustly treated.  Other Sisters and Associates responded online at writeathon.ca  Participants in the first gathering included Sister Margaret MacLean (photo, left) and SCIC Associate Mary Matheson (right). The event was one of many in Canada and around the world.  Organizers paid tribute to the late John Peters Humphrey of Hampton, N.B.  The international lawyer drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights while working at the UN.  It was unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948.  (SCIC photo)

 

SISTERS RECEIVE HONOUR FROM DEVELOPMENT & PEACE

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) gratefully received a certificate of honour from Development and Peace – Caritas Canada Nov. 29 in Carmel Chapel here.  Sister Mary Beth McCurdy, congregational leader (photo, centre) received the certificate on behalf of the Sisters for “exceptional commitment to the cause of social justice” and efforts to improve living conditions for those living in extreme poverty in the Global South.  The certificate was presented by Donna LeBlanc of Fredericton (left), Saint John diocesan chair of Development and Peace and Mary Hanson (right) of Northampton, who is the anglophone representative for New Brunswick on the national council of Development and Peace.  They also presented Development and Peace certificates of honour to Sisters Angie Martz and Roma De Robertis.  Earlier, they offered one for the late SCIC Associate David Lewis.  Sister Mary Beth and SCIC Associate Donna Schroeter invited Sisters, Associates and staff to join in blessing the visitors and their ministry.  The recent recognitions came at the conclusion of the organization’s 50th anniversary year.  (Photo:  Sister Mary Ann Maxwell, SCIC)

 

REMEMBERING INDIGENOUS WOMEN & GIRLS

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sister Mary Beth McCurdy raised awareness in Carmel Chapel here about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Oct. 4, 2017.  Before a eucharistic liturgy on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, among Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC) and Associates, she highlighted the meaning of such Sisters in Spirit vigils in many parts of the country.  A singer and drummer, Sister Mary Beth is SCIC congregational leader.   She prepared this symbolic centre (shown in photo) which includes an art card print by Maxine Noel entitled, “Not Forgotten.”  The artist is donating part of the proceeds from the sale of her creation to the Native Women’s Association of Canada which initiated the Sisters in Spirit Project.  During the liturgy, Rev. Don Breen called for “a better deal” for Canada’s Indigenous peoples and prayed especially for Indigenous women.  On Oct. 3, Sisters Mary Beth and Roma De Robertis also participated in a Sisters in Spirit vigil at New Brunswick Community College, Saint John campus.  On Oct. 4 in Vancouver, Sister Maureen Fowler also participated in a Sisters in Spirit vigil at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. For more, see www.nwac.ca  KAIROS Canada (ecumenical justice movement) also offers an information hub at www.kairoscanada.org/missing-murdered-indigenous-women-girls   (SCIC photo)

 

HONOURING WATER AS SACRED GIFT & HUMAN RIGHT

TORONTO, Ont. – “Sacred Water” was the theme of a national gathering here in which two Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception and two SCIC Associates participated June 6-8, 2017.  The gathering was organized by the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) service of the Canadian Religious Conference.  Presenters were Elder Josephine Mandamin, Ojibwe grandmother and water walker, and Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians citizens’ organization advocating for social and ecological justice.  Sister Priscilla Solomon facilitated traditional opening ceremonies as an Ojibwe woman and Sister of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie.  The JPIC gathering of 65 participants rejected privatization of water, while upholding water as a sacred gift and human right for all.  Panelists included members of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada; KAIROS (Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives) and Ecologos environmental network.  Photo by Ann McGowan.  Left to right:  Sharon Jacquard of Saint John, N.B.; Sister Maureen Fowler of Richmond, B.C.; Sister Muriel Buckley of Saint John and Faith Brace of Cochrane, Alta.  For more, please see www.canadians.orgwww.motherearthwaterwalk.com and www.crc-canada.org

 

PARTNERING WITH AFRICAN GRANDMOTHERS

SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Six Sisters of Charity here are raising funds for a regional partnership with African grandmothers caring for grandchildren whose parents died of AIDS.  Based in nearby Hampton, N.B., the Grandmother Partnership works with and offers support to Gogos, or grandmothers in Piggs Peak, Swaziland in southern Africa.  In the photo, grandmothers display produce from the partnership’s Garden Project.  In 2015, Sisters of Charity welcomed two active partnership members to learn about the initiative.  The Sisters then formed a committee and members set out collection jars where they live at both St. Vincent and Ruth Ross Residences.  The donated funds help provide food for the children and seedlings for the garden, while contributing to birthday parties for hard-working grandmothers.  The Sisters’ committee, chaired by Sister Emily Lordon, also includes Sisters Angie Martz, Theresa Hucul, Patricia McDonald, Audette Richard and Celene Hurley.  Their ministry invites prayer for the partnership, grandmothers and grandchildren.  For more, see www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca (Photo:  Karen Mandy)

 

ACCOMPANYING NEWCOMERS

Sister Muriel Buckley (left) and Rashad Alhamwi participated Feb. 18, 2017 in a fundraising event at the Crescent Valley Resource Centre.  Sister Muriel accompanies Syrian newcomers in the Saint John neighbourhood of Crescent Valley.  Mrs. Alhamwi served at the event offering Syrian food and crafts to raise money for sewing machines for Syrian women in Jordan.  Many were widowed during brutal war in their homeland.  The women will receive training on the sewing machines, leading to employment opportunities to support their families.  (SCIC photo)

 

OVERCOMING HUMAN TRAFFICKING

The crime of human trafficking is big business in Canada and worldwide.  Here is a link to a brief, important video based on a true story.  It was prepared by Education for Justice, a project of the Center of Concern in Washington, DC.  We are permitted to share it, though not to copy it.  You can access the video at this link: I AM MIRIAM. How might we respond to the video’s invitation, calling us to “please advocate for change”?