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Social Justice:
Respect for All of God’s Creatures

Collaboration - Partnership

Collaboration and partnership invite us to work with others for the transformation of society and the building of the Reign of God.

This can mean:

Solidarity - Inclusion

Our presence in various parts of the world invites us to foster global awareness and connection among ourselves and with the people of our milieu.
This is what we call solidarity - inclusion

This can mean:

  • appreciating and welcoming differences of culture, race, gender, religion;
  • recognizing our need for interdependence;
  • listening to the cry of the excluded, both individuals and groups;
  • taking concrete means to promote fundamental rights.

Nonviolence

Nonviolence is a way of being, of looking, of speaking, of living in community, of educating, of relating with creation.

It is more than being “nice.” It requires us to look at real situations of violence and to confront them. It teaches us how to speak the truth with love. It invites us to act in partnership with others who are peacemakers.

More information about the OK Clean Water project Advocating against human trafficking at sporting events Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC)

Social Justice News

Cameroun: Progressive Social Justice Report

The period March – October 2021 has been marked by many events in the Congregation, namely the celebration of first and final vows, the General Chapter and new missions, to name but a few. These events have not prevented us from making progress in the implementation of the Social Justice Action Plan, albeit timidly.

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Petition as part of the COP15 (Biodiversity) and COP26 (Climate)

I am writing to invite you to sign the “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” Petition initiated by GCCM. By this, four requests are presented to the leaders who will attend the international environmental meetings this fall. 

This petition pertains to the COP15 on Biodiversity (October 2021). It will bring together the signatory countries of the Convention on Biodiversity. This includes all countries where we operate except for the United States. The petition also concerns the COP26 which will bring together all the signatory countries of the Paris Agreement. All the countries where the CND operates have signed it. 

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Ok Clean Water Project Newsletter - Spring 2017

Peace & Justice News

Sisters and Associates, gear up for a writing challenge on behalf of the potential victims of the 2018 proposed Federal Budget. I invite you to participate in a project of US nuns which will focus on writing letters to Speaker Paul Ryan in response to the 2018 USA Federal Budget.

NETWORK LOBBY has offered to take on the responsibility for the following:

  • PRODUCE a letter writing tool kit that includes: a brief background on the federal budget, the connection to        Catholic Social Justice, and budget talking points for each of their seven Mend the Gap public policies
  • CREATE a sample letter with pointers on how to write a powerful letter to a Member of Congress
  • PROMOTE the letter writing campaign to their networks of sisters
  • RECEIVE the finished letters and coordinate their delivery to Representative Paul Ryan’s office on Capitol Hill with a team of sisters and handle social media/press for that event

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Inspired for Sacred Water with the CRC in Toronto

From June 6-8, I attended the Canadian Religious Conference National JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation) Conference in Toronto with Sisters Maura McGrath, Anne T. Gillis and Maureen Killoran. Maura led us in the closing prayer. The theme of Sacred Water was brought to life with wonderful prayer and two days of input and reflection, one day with Elder Josephine Mandamine and one day with Council of Canadians Chair Maude Barlow. We were challenged and inspired to see water as sacred and also as a human right – not either/or but both/and. How will we continue to live this? Some exciting proposals for the Community will be coming after the summer. We look forward to welcoming you on board. 

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Just News

As announced some months ago, the newsletter will now be published every two months and each issue will feature a province or region. The February edition headlined Visitation Province; this one highlights Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region. It also includes news from the Social Justice Network’s coordinator and an information segment.

Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region

Since January, Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres Region has been involved in a variety of areas which are related to social justice and are based upon the needs and situations in the different communities where we are present.

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PEACE & JUSTICE NEWS – USA

I am delighted to report that we sent a check to First Friends. There is a certain irony that in response to President Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, more groups are reaching out to First Friends with contributions of materials for the folders they distribute. So, The “Have a Heart” Campaign funds will be used primarily to provide phone cards for those in detention. Sr. Marilyn Medinger and I met with the staff at First Friends in early April. Thank you to all who supported the Campaign. Marilyn and I are going to Chicago to attend the Annual Conference on Immigration sponsored by Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants.

On April 1st the CRC-STOP anti-trafficking coalition co-sponsored a Conference at St. John’s University. About 250 people participated. It was our best attended conference to date and our most diverse audience.

Cathy Molloy and I also attended the Trinity Institute on Water Justice. There were several wonderful presenters. The videos are now available. I recommend watching the talks of Katharine Hayhoe and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba. https://www.trinitywallstreet.org/videos/recent?page=5

Maude Barlow also spoke.

On April 29, I participated in a “Sister March” in New Haven.

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Development and Peace – Caritas Canada - 50th annual Share Lent campaign

Development and Peace – Caritas Canada: On Ash Wednesday Development and Peace – Caritas Canada will launch its 50th annual Share Lent campaign, entitled Women at the Heart of Change. You are invited to make Share Lent a part of your Lenten journey. Supporting women is a priority for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada. For this year's campaign, we invite you to listen to the voices of women who are building the world of tomorrow. Women have always been at the heart of our organization. In parishes all across the country many events are being organized to celebrate this 50th anniversary. The most important of course is the Share Lent collection held on April 2, Solidarity Sunday. 

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Honour and Respect Our Common Home by Taking Concrete Action

Last Tuesday, the sisters and lay employees of the mother house of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame assembled to highlight and celebrate the efforts made thus far to diminish the ecological footprint of the house.

In fact, since 2014, words have been put into action and the mother house has been taking concrete steps to become “green”: evaluating and improving the energy efficiency of the heating system; composting; switching to biodegradable cleaning products and fair trade coffee, etc.

(photo: Sister Fernande Cantin, leader of the international community of the mother house)

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Are you planning to give up something for Lent?

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) has launched a campaign that is asking us to "Give it up for the Earth!" There are postcards to send to the Minister of the Environment, where we check off what we are pledging to give up for Lent that will lower our carbon footprint (driving less & taking greener modes of transport, eating a non-meat meal once a week or more, or a blank 'other' category where you can write in your personal pledge) and urging the Canadian Government to follow this example and take action to reduce our carbon footprint at a national level. Cards can be sent anytime during Lent. This is a great way for us to fulfill the promises we made in our Corporate Stance pledge on Climate Action. You can request a postcard from the JPIC office, or visit the CPJ website to order a bulk amount free of charge to distribute in your house, your parish and other places.

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Trinity Institute 2017

Water Justice – March 22-24, 2017. Every year Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church in NYC hosts a conference with a theme of national and global interest. This year's theme is about water justice and includes several well-known speakers engaged in this field, one of whom is Maude Barlow. Many churches and other institutions host the event locally. In Ottawa St. Matthew's Anglican Church on Bank Street is hosting it. For more information about the schedule and host sites so far see https://www.trinitywallstreet.org/trinity-institute/2017/home. There are not many Canadian host sites and there is information on the website on how to set one up in your local area if any interest. I participated in one Institute previously and both the input and discussions with the local group gathered were very good.

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Religious in Atlantic Canada (RAC) Conference May 19th – 21st, 2017

The Religious in Atlantic Canada (RAC) Gathering meets annually to explore topics that have greatest bearing on our common future as religious, living and ministering in these most challenging times. Any religious women or men who wish to join this exploration are most welcome to be part of the conversation. Keep your hand on the plow, look ahead, and discover new fields! Anyone who puts their hand to the plow, and keeps looking back is not about the reign of God! Luke 9:62  

  • What does it mean to look ahead, to see with new eyes for the sake of the reign of God? 
  • What is being asked of us at this time? 
  • What are the deeper questions that keep us from dwelling on the past, that we might embrace our emerging future? 

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Pushing for Peace

I am sure we are all feeling deep sadness regarding the recent violence in the Quebec City mosque. Carl Hetu, former Development & Peace animator in Ottawa, and current Director of Canada Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) has written a very helpful op-ed piece. I encourage you to take a look at it here:  http://www.cnewa.ca/default.aspx?ID=2903&pagetypeID=8&sitecode=CA&pageno=1.

Carl is a member of the JPIC Lay Network, which our JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation) office helped to found several years ago. This is a network of lay staff working on issues of justice, peace and creation with religious communities and in religious organizations. Through such groups we are able to cross-pollinate ideas and nurture deep reflection, thus cultivating the wisdom and courage to advocate for a just peace that considers root causes. 

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Have a Heart Campaign

When the idea for the Have a Heart Campaign began in November, I had no idea of how appropriate it would be. In the face of developing anti-immigrant policies and practices, I think we are called to take a stand on behalf of compassion and love. This Campaign provides a simple, concrete way to do that. I hope you will spread the word and invite as broad participation as possible. Thank you.

Congregation of Notre-Dame – HAVE A HEART” Campaign

February 14- March 17. In the spirit of our latest Congregation of Notre-Dame Orientations we invite you to “be open to the diversity of generations, cultures, attitudes and structures” and to “go to the peripheries” by being part of the “HAVE A HEART Campaign.” Today, our detention centers are certainly part of the peripheries. In this campaign, we will be collaborating with First Friends, an advocacy group in Kearney, NJ for those in detention in the NY Metro area. Between Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day we encourage you to join the Campaign by being involved yourself and by finding others to join with you/us.

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Advocating for Mining Justice

Since its beginning 10 years ago, JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of the Creation) has been coordinating the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Visitation Province advocacy on mining and extractive sector justice. See below for a summary of our past work.  Many will remember our extensive work to support MP John McKay’s Bill C-300 for mining justice,that was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons in the fall of 2010. Following the failure of the Bill to pass, mining justice was severely weakened by the years of the Harper government. Justin Trudeau made promises during the election campaign to re-introduce legislation for strong ethical practices for Canadian mining companies operating overseas.

We have a new opportunity, right now, to help make this happen. Sources have confirmed that the Liberal government will be creating an extractive sector Ombudsperson in early 2017. It is important that we remind the Minister and Prime Minister of the components that are needed to make this position truly independent and effective for those seeking justice from the actions of Canadian extractive companies.

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Advocating for Mining Justice

Since its beginning 10 years ago, JPIC (Justice Peace and Integrity of the Creation) has been coordinating the Congrégation de Notre-Dame Visitation Province advocacy on mining and extractive sector justice.  See below for a summary of our past work.  Many will remember our extensive work to support MP John McKay’s Bill C-300 for mining justice,that was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons in the fall of 2010.  Following the failure of the Bill to pass, mining justice was severely weakened by the years of the Harper government.  Justin Trudeau made promises during the election campaign to re-introduce legislation for strong ethical practices for Canadian mining companies operating overseas.

We have a new opportunity, right now, to help make this happen.  Sources have confirmed that the Liberal government will be creating an extractive sector Ombudsperson in early 2017.  It is important that we remind the Minister and Prime Minister of the components that are needed to make this position truly independent and effective for those seeking justice from the actions of Canadian extractive companies.

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Praying for Peace for Honduras in the New Year

session was held at the mother house on the Migrants' Caravan coming from Honduras with Honduran journalist Felix Molina. The room was full of Congrégation de Notre-Dame Sisters and staff and guests from many collaborating organizations. It was an excellent session. The most significant stat for me was that if the doors were opened 70% of Hondurans say they would leave.

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What is COP 24?

This is on the Global Catholic Climate Movement website.

Every year for 24 years, the nations of the world have gathered in the UN-convened “Conference of the Parties” (COP) to discuss solutions to the climate crisis. A peak in this process was achieved at COP21, which was held in Paris in 2015 and saw the creation of the Paris climate agreement to limit green-house gas emissions.

 

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Social Justice News

Marguerite-Bourgeoys Province Eco-friendly Actions

In relation to the third dimension of our mission orientation that calls us to respect our “common home,” Marguerite-Bourgeoys Province continued its eco-friendly formation-action project. In its efforts to create an irreversible and transformative movement that is beneficial to the Earth, the province has completed the third step in its process. It proposed that, from 2017 to 2021, each house adopt and implement a local plan of action. The communities more than met the expectations. The following are examples illustrating their progress:

  • -  Reduce residual waste, 100% of the houses

  • -  Prevent surplus and food waste, 94%

  • -  Reduce energy consumption, 92%

  • -  Prioritize responsible purchasing, 89%

  • -  Systematically compost food waste, 81%

    In 2019, the Comité Justice Marguerite-Bourgeoys, with the contribution of the liaison-persons from each house, will prepare a progress report of the action plans.

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Peace & Justice News

CATHOLICS ARE STILL IN

A campaign to publically support the actions of the Paris Climate Agreement has been organized by the Catholic Climate Covenant and is supported by the USCCB. Leaders of catholic schools, parishes, universities, institutions and religious communities are invited to sign onto the Catholic Climate Declaration at: http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/catholic-climate-declaration before June 11, 2018 to be included in the June 18, 2018 public announcement.

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