Working in Collaboration

From the very beginnings of the foundation of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM), our foundress, Mother Marie-Rose, instilled a spirit of collaboration, openness and welcoming others.

Listening to people, responding to the needs expressed by each community, working with others to advance a cause, defending the rights of marginalized people, setting up convents, schools, organizations which offered needed help — all that is at the very heart of the action of our foundress and of her spiritual heritage.

Moreover, she supported and promoted the following motto throughout her life: “In union is our strength.” This call to union refers as much to the absence of conflict as it does to the sharing of the talents and skills of everyone, both individually and communally, in order to fully live the SNJM mission.

Inspired by this spirit, the SNJM Congregation has founded numerous institutions and several organizations around the world while forging collaborative ties with partners in the various areas in which they work.

They have thus set up some more or less formal structures, such as the SNJM Justice Network and the:

SNJM Youth Justice Forum

The SNJM Youth Justice Forum is an initiative of the Justice and Peace Network of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM). It is an international extracurricular activity created in 2009 with the objective of promoting collaborative action among girls aged 15 to 17 to work for justice.

The Forum is aimed particularly at students attending high schools founded by SNJMs around the world. Held every three years in a different city, it brings together some forty young people along with the adults who accompany them. In all, the students represent a dozen different institutions.

One of the objectives that the organizers of this event are trying to achieve is to enable the young women participants to create links that go beyond their usual horizons in order to have them become engaged citizens, sensitive to the ideals of justice and peace. The Forum is also an opportunity to convey to young people the passion for others and the openness to differences of the founding Mother Marie-Rose Durocher.

It is also part of the American anthropologist Margaret Mead’s line of thought: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”