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.
Gun Control Legislation
As you know gun violence has impacted the very fabric of our society. We have all witnessed the tragedies in Orlando, Newtown and Boston, not to mention the gun violence that occurs within our cities and suburbs on a daily basis. Despite these tragedies and the epidemic of violence, the Senate has failed to pass four gun control proposals before the July 4th recess. The Speaker of the House has not allowed a vote on gun control legislation despite a sit-in lead by House Democrats. We are asking you to write to your representative, senators and Speaker Paul Ryan requesting them to pass gun control legislation during this session of Congress.
Below is a sample letter you can adapt and send to your representative and senator as well as link to access contact information.
Sample Gun Control Legislation Letter
Dear (fill in name)
In the wake of the recent mass shooting in Orlando, Florida and other acts of gun violence, I am asking you to persuade your colleagues in the House and Senate to draft and pass gun control legislation that includes the following points:
- Require background checks and gun licenses
- Ban assault weapons
- Make gun trafficking a federal crime
- Go beyond preventing suspected terrorists from purchasing guns
It is imperative that we end partisan gridlock on this important issue which impacts the safety of our citizens and the moral fiber of our nation. I am counting on you to use your influence to make realistic gun control legislation a reality.
(fill in your name)
House of Representatives http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
As we get closer to the RNC, we wanted to share a few area events happening over the next few weeks.
Walk for Justice Cleveland July 9 in support of comprehensive immigration reform. As we continue our efforts at awareness-raising and advocacy for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, our Community has become a co-sponsor of this event. For more information call 216-696-6525 x3500 or 330-454-6754 or visit walk4justicecle.net/
Another event happening on July 17 is a walk sponsored by the Congregation of St. Joseph. The focus is to "Circle the City" with positive energy as the RNC begins its time in Cleveland. Click here for more information and details about the walk: http://www.circlecitywithlove.com/contact-us.html
Below is a prayer that can be said during the coming to pray for a peaceful gathering both in Cleveland for the RNC and in Philadelphia for the DNC.
Prayer For the National Conventions (Pray July 4-28)
Come Spirit of Wisdom and Love,
Stir the minds and hearts
of those participating in the National Conventions
of the Republican and Democratic Parties.
Inspire them with respect and integrity,
vision and action for the common good.
Protect all who may be tempted to be less than their best selves
and those who may be in danger.
May those seeking to represent their parties
be women and men committed to Justice and Peace.
May leaders be chosen who can work and partner
with others for the unity of all in our country
and throughout the world. Amen.
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.
Below are links to each woman's biography and to the Catholic News Service report of the memorial service held in El Salvador