Justice

Education in the faith demands of us active involvement in the promotion of justice. In this spirit and according to the teachings of the Church, our educational endeavors have a special concern for the poor and disadvantaged.

- Constitutions, No. 13

This special concern for people who are poor, especially children, was evident from the very beginnings of our foundation, manifested by concrete actions responding to the expectations of our milieus and requests from the Church, for example, Marie-Rose Durocher welcomed young Irish girls in Montreal in 1847. Sisters in Jacksonville and Key West took care of patients suffering from a smallpox epidemic in Florida. Others assumed the role of zealous nurses to the wounded in the Spanish-American War. Still others took care of children who had been neglected or orphaned as a result of plagues and provided education and security for them.

Since the 1986 General Chapter, we have identified new creative approaches to education and reaffirmed our mission in the spirit of a liberating action that can be summed up as “Educate to liberate.” That is to say, to help the persons to “name” themselves, to find their own identity.

At the 2016 General Chapter, we made a commitment to “participate actively in the search for structures, relationships and actions that liberate life wherever it is threatened.”

We wanted to ”let ourselves be questioned by the emerging questions of our time.” Thus, the call to justice is a priority that animates and motivates all our apostolic actions. Fundamental human rights, human dignity, the health of our planet Earth, openness to other cultures, collaboration and interdependence, are values ​​that we deepen and seek to promote in many ways.

Statement on Racism

We, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, an international congregation, stand in solidarity with the U.S. National Black Sisters’ Conference, condemning systemic racism. The violent and unjust death of George Floyd and many African Americans that is heralding a movement around the world to end racism, inequity and exclusion calls us to recommit ourselves to systemic change.

We recognize that the social, political, economic and environmental problems of our century are global in nature and are integrally intertwined. We therefore pledge ourselves to seek to participate in collaborative structures, relationships and actions that will liberate life where it is threatened. (SNJM Acts of the General Chapter)

We acknowledge our own complicity in institutional racism. We pledge to examine racism in ourselves and confront racism that privileges some and diminishes others. We raise our voice and join in efforts to end racism.

As a community of women religious, we commit ourselves to justice for communities of color, in the United States and globally.

June 2020

Statement of Commitment to Indigenous Peoples

The recent discovery of the remains of 215 children in the cemetery adjacent to the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia on May 27, 2021, is a tragedy. It reveals the extent of a situation denounced in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report on the disappearance of some 4,000 of the 150,000 Indigenous children who lived in residential schools over more than a century.

This shocking news prompts us to speak out again today to express our deepest sympathy and prayers for all the people of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and for the families of all the missing children and survivors. We are more aware than ever that this type of situation brings back the pain of colonial history in Canada and around the world.

After endorsing the TRC’s Call to Action 48, we sent a letter of support to the Senate of Canada for the adoption of Bill C-15 on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This bill seeks to make federal legislation consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). It will also commit the Canadian Federal Government to work with Indigenous peoples to develop a national action plan with specific priorities and timelines.

 

Source: Faith in the Declaration

At the same time, initiatives within our international congregation are being put forward to decolonize our minds and hearts, to address racism and to build just relationships.

We also wish to join with other faith-based organizations in urging Pope Francis to apologize to the Indigenous People of Canada, knowing that the request for an apology by the Church expresses the deep aspirations of Indigenous People.

June 2021

SNJM JPIC Coordinating Committee - Newsletters

This sub-section brings together newsletters related to the activities of the SNJM Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Coordinating Committee.

Today, there are still many sisters who are present in educational ministries, with a focus on education for justice and commitment to act. Others are engaged in actions that are more directly related to justice and to the promotion of human dignity. In collaboration with partners, we are active in many ways around the world.

Faithful in assuming its collective responsibility, our Congregation has adopted three corporate stands resulting from a process of analysis and reflection. They are: Struggle against human trafficking, Universal access to water and Migrant and refugee people.

Aware of global issues which involve multiple interactions, we work in collaboration with other organizations that promote values ​​similar to our own. Together, we dare to directly challenge leaders, elected officials and the media. We send letters and petitions and continue to raise awareness and to provide information.