Being & Doing Justice

Sisters of Charity, I.C. and Associates are committed to social justice, peace and care of creation.  We recognize that cries of Earth and of those made poor are one.  Faithful to our mission, we focus on compassion, solidarity and respect for the inherent dignity of all people, as well as Earth and the fullness of creation.  

Advocating with others, we are committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and global concerns highlighted by the Sisters of Charity Federation NGO (non-governmental organization) at the UN.  We are also dedicated to truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, while learning from their devotion to Mother Earth and her wisdom. 

As part of God’s unfolding universe, we celebrate the beauty of our interconnectedness while giving thanks for the precious gift of our common home. 

“The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely … there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The world sings of an infinite Love: how can we fail to care for it?” ~ Pope Francis, Laudate Deum [65]

Here is a link to the latest UN and You 

Newsletter and Events Archive

Pollinators play a critical role in the reproduction of over 85% of the world’s flowering plants and two-thirds of crop varieties. However, they face severe threats from habitat loss, toxic pesticides and climate disruption. In recognition of their undeniable value, May 20 is celebrated as World Bee Day. The 18th-century Slovenian pioneer of modern beekeeping, Anton Janša, greatly admired bees for their industrious, hard-working nature and their ability to thrive with minimal attention and upkeep. Read more...

May 5th is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People. Initiated by Métis artist Jamie Black’s “REDress Project” in 2010, she hung hundreds of empty red dresses in public spaces, making the alarming numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women visible. Read more...

Symbols of Solidarity

Sisters of Charity, I.C., Associates and friends participated in a Share Lent solidarity ritual in Carmel Chapel March 21, 2024, at Ruth Ross Residence in Saint John, N.B.  They adapted resources provided by Development and Peace-Caritas Canada to celebrate the national theme, “Reaping our Rights” focusing on small-scale farmers in the Global South.

Each year, on or near the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Solidarity Sunday is held in Canada.  SCIC also explore Share Lent resources and contribute to the major national collection in solidarity with Development and Peace partners in the Global South.

The ritual began with Sister Mary Ann Maxwell on piano, then, the four symbols of solidarity were showcased by two Sisters and two SCIC Associates. This was followed by the hymn Let There Be Peace on Earth and Sister Roma De Robertis offered the closing prayer. Pictured above, Sisters and Associates display solidarity symbols of a watering can, a glass of soil containing water and oil, a bottle of milk and a picture of a hoe. 

Photo left to right: SCIC Associate Mike Campbell; Justice Coordinator Yolande Whalen; Associate Linda Pye; Sister Audette Richard; Associate Sharon Jacquard and Sister Monica Guest. (SCIC photo) To learn more about Development and Peace-Caritas Canada, visit: https://devp.org/en/

Trees Inspire Gratitude & Awareness

Yolande Whalen (Justice Coordinator) facilitated a gathering Sept. 26, 2023 in Carmel Chapel among Sisters of Charity IC and Associates from Greater Saint John, N.B.  Together, they celebrated the Creation theme, “Let justice and peace flow.”

With a PowerPoint presentation and conversation in small circles, they explored a focus on trees as guardians of waterways.  They also considered their vital role in filtering and preserving water for all living beings.

Trees were underscored not only for their beauty but also for the responsibility they represent in ensuring justice and peace permeate our interactions with the world.

The significance of five regional trees – willow, cedar, birch, maple, and oak – was highlighted, emphasizing their attributes and how they symbolically represented influential people in participants’ lives.

The event concluded with prayer, individual blessings, and words of appreciation for the tall elm tree at Ruth Ross Residence, which some visited from the front yard and patio. This was followed by social time indoors, with refreshments provided by staff.

(Photo left to right)  Sisters Monica Guest, Roma De Robertis, Irene Buechler; Justice Coordinator: Yolande Whalen; Sisters Louise Arsenault, Audette Richard, Anita Holmes, Sandra Barrett; SCIC Associates: Myra Murphy, Barb Fennell, Denise Isaacs; Sisters Margaret MacLean and Pat Poole (bottom front). Photo by Andrea Butler 

JUSTICE COORDINATOR

We are pleased to welcome Yolande Whalen as our Justice Coordinator beginning September 11, 2023.

Yolande will work with Sisters and Associates in person and through online conferencing.  She will also engage with Sisters and Associates from other communities, while networking with groups committed to justice, peace and the integrity of creation.

“I bring with me a deep reverence for our collective home and all of creation,” says Yolande.  “It is our responsibility to rise to meet the uncertainties of our time with compassion, conviction and grace.”

Yolande grew up on a self-sustaining farmstead and resides in Long Reach on New Brunswick’s Kingston Peninsula.  Her background is in education in areas of communications, culture, public policy and visual arts.  She is also a certified Laudato Si’ animator.

PARTNERING WITH AFRICAN GRANDMOTHERS

SAINT JOHN, N.B. – For several years, the Sisters of Charity at Saint Vincent Residence have been 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.  Beginning in 2015, the Sisters welcomed two active partnership members to learn about the initiative.  They formed a committee and members set out collection jars where they live.  The donated funds help provide food for the children and seedlings for the garden, while contributing to birthday parties for hard-working grandmothers.   Their ministry invites prayer for the partnership, grandmothers and grandchildren.  For more, see www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca ( Photo~ Karen Mandy)

 

Celebrating the life of Sister Angie Martz

The Council of Canadians community mourns the passing of our dear friend Sister Angie Martz. A lifelong activist, teacher and spiritual leader for many across generations in her community of Saint John, NB, Sister Angie remained active and engaged in advancing social justice until her final days.

“Angie was and will continue to be my guiding light,” said Leticia Adair, friend, member of the Saint John Chapter and former Council board member. “One of the founding members of our Chapter, Angie was always present at meetings, participating in actions and writing letters. Water rights and working on behalf of refugees was close to her heart. Her faith, firm resolve and commitment to justice, has sustained and guided us for the past 30 years. I will miss her dearly.”

At our 2009 annual general meeting held in Saint John, the Council presented Sister Angie with the Maude Barlow Founder’s Award in recognition of her tremendous contribution to the Council and of her life's work.

“Those who care for peace and justice lost a dear friend with the passing of Sister Angie,” said Maude Barlow, friend and Honorary Chair of the Council. “She touched everyone she met with her passion, humour and love. When I last visited her, she held my hand in silent prayer and I walked for days surrounded by a feeling of safety, secure in the blessing of Sister Angie. We honoured Angie several years ago with our Founder’s Award and she honoured us by accepting it. A remarkable role model of a life well lived."

As eloquently said in her obituary, “anyone who met Sister Angie knew of her passion for social justice and her care for creation.  She had a wide circle of friends from all walks of life and tradition and she will be deeply missed.”

Pictured: Sister Angie Martz accepting her Founder’s Award from Maude Barlow at the Council of Canadians’ 2009 annual general meeting