Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

The Humility of Mary Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Team (HM-JPIC) works to help facilitate the efforts of the HM Community in fulfilling its mission of bringing more abundant life to God’s people, especially the poor, by responding to the needs of our times; and to serve as a resource for the leadership team, sisters and associates in the areas of justice, peace and the integrity of creation by providing background and research for education, advocacy and action.

The team meets monthly to discuss pertinent social justice issues and possible responses the community and/or individual members can make. We also work with various other committees to promote their activities and support their work. Communication channels for sharing sign-on actions and other social justice-related news include email, HM website and Facebook page.

We are connected to a variety of national groups including Network, Center of Concern, Pax Christi USA, etc. Locally, we participate in the Cleveland area JPIC (CLE-JPIC) meetings and are currently working on plans for action around the Republican National Convention and other local concerns. This group is comprised of representatives from the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland, the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, the Congregation of St. Joseph, the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis and the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. We also support the efforts of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking.

Members of HM-JPIC include Srs. Josie Chrosniak, Mary Pat Cook, Eilis McCulloh, Madeline Muller, Barbara O’Donnell and Mary Slick. Sr. Mary Ann Houk has graciously volunteered to be our prayer.

Sr. Maryann Golonka

Sister Addresses Land Issues. Sr. Maryann Golonka was a guest speaker during the recent contemporary Lamentations on Good hosted by the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. The focus was Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, and what is happening in our world, including the contaminated drinking water in Flint, Mich., the gas leak in California, and other national and international tragedies.

Sr. Maryann provided a local perspective, speaking on the Villa Land Committee and fracking in Pulaski Township. The Villa Land Committee was formed in 2009 to develop strategies of preserving and maintaining the land in a just, sustainable and peaceful manner. Here is a synopsis of Sr. Maryann’s remarks.

“We began by educating ourselves about the fracking. We learned and prayed; consulted and discerned; prayed and deliberated. We had 12 public town hall meetings beginning in September 2011 with a focus on various aspects of horizontal, hydraulic fracturing. We gleaned information from farmers, attorneys, university professors, civic leaders, community organizers, environmentalists, health professionals and even representatives from the oil companies. Many of our neighbors signed leases and must now live with the noise, gas flaring, odors, spotlights, potential health issues and water contamination. Pulaski Township, once a tranquil, pastoral environment has been replaced with sites of heavy industrial operations. Committed to our mission of bringing more abundant life to God’s people, we honor the integrity of the land that welcomes all persons to a place of healing and hope. We remain faithful to our charism of Mary’s humility and pray for the humility that is so needed in today’s culture as we seek to be a sign of hope for future generations of all species. The Villa land is sacred to us as we have lived on this land since 1864. The land is part of our heritage and has sustained us and been a source of life for many other people from orphans to students to retreatants to elders. Our land ethic calls us to care for God’s creation and to live in right relationship with all life communities – human, animal, plants, fish and fowl. We are the voice for those who have no voice and we continue to stand with our neighbors at local public meetings, advocate for justice and communicate with local media.”

Carol Zinn, SSJ
(photo courtesy LCWR)

Imagine Justice. Sr. Josie Chrosniak and Sr. Mary Pat Cook recently joined 48 other elected leaders and justice promoters from religious congregations across the country (and two from Newfoundland) to imagine justice. The days were led by Carol Zinn, SSJ, and facilitated by Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) staff members Ann Scholz, SSND, and Marie McCarthy, SP.

Using a process that included contemplative silence, listening, sitting and dialogue, Carol wove together key insights from Evangelii Gaudium, the LCWR Call for 2015 to 2022, and Laudato Si’ to assist participants to explore and deepen their understanding of the deep why of the work for justice. The days were blessed with Carol’s wisdom and presence, contemplative engagement, and the opportunity to interact with others who are committed to justice ministry. Sr. Josie and Sr. Mary Pat shared the experience with the HM Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation committee and will work to utilize the gained insight in their efforts.

The recent Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Resolution to Action (attached below) shares a reflection and summary of the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) held in Paris in December. As always, along with the reflection, there are suggestions for action.


LCWR is an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has about 1350 members, who represent nearly 80 percent of the approximately 49,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.


Let Us Never Forget

On December 2, 1980, four women, two Maryknoll nuns, an Ursuline nun, and a lay volunteer working for peace and justice for the country's poor, were stopped by the military in El Salvador as they travelled from the airport. In a lonely cow pasture, they were tortured, raped, and murdered by soldiers of the military junta, with the encouragement of their commanders.

View each woman's biography and the Catholic News Service report of the memorial service held in El Salvador

HM Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
Villa Maria, PA 16155