Statement from the JPIC Team of the Sisters of Christian Charity on Racial Injustice
The Sisters of Christian Charity join in solidarity with all who cry out against racism in all its forms. We are profoundly troubled by the unjust murders of numerous sisters and brothers of color in our recent history. We mourn with our communities of color who have faced this injustice too often in our country. We are saddened by the continued denial of rights for people of color in so many areas of life - in health care, employment, education, immigration, housing, and criminal justice. The well- being of ALL humanity in the United States depends on ALL of us dismantling the systemic and cultural realities of racial injustice and white privilege that have long divided and continue to divide our nation. We are not yet “one nation under God with liberty and justice for ALL”.
As women religious we are committed to the Gospel call, “That ALL may be one…” (John 17:21) and to the charism of inclusivity of our foundress Blessed Pauline, who said: “Let me carry a fire of love in which ALL hearts may be enkindled”. We pray for unity and healing and for an ALL embracing love that will hear the cry of our sisters and brothers who are victims of injustice and inequality. We commit to being allies by raising our voices and taking bold actions to end racial inequality in our country as we rebuild “the beloved community”, the kingdom of God here on earth. We ask God’s blessing on the work that lies ahead of us individually and as a community to recommit to the values of respect and justice for ALL. “We are called to act with justice, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:4)
Preparations have begun with the three Sisters preparing to go to the Philippines. Sr. Theresa Marie Tran, Sister Marie José and Sr. Lucianna are sharing and discussing the book by Father Anthony Gittens, CSSp titled “Living Mission Interculturally.” Sr. Joanne Bednar is facilitating this group through the month of September. In October the three Sisters will travel to Wilmette and spend the month with the Sisters in the West.
Sisters of Christian Charity
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office
Hearts and Hands for Service
Sr. Mary Ann Poppler and Susan Miller have joined their loving and creative forces to make baby hats, blankets and car seat blankets for the underserved. They met years ago when Susan was a student of Sr. Mary Ann’s in Westmont, Illinois. Over the years they have become friends and share a love for “keeping their hands busy” with knitting and crocheting baby afghans, hats and blankets. Sr. Mary Ann matches the delicate pieces together in sets and donates them to the Sisters of the Holy Spirit who use them for baby showers for an organization called “Aid for Women” which assists women who are facing unexpected pregnancies. (Article by Sr. Monica Cormier)
Villa Stations Travel to Dominican Republic
Flavio Beco, Paterson Chancery Receptionist, and his mother pack up the Stations of the Cross for shipment to an underserved parish in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The Stations were originally from Villa Pauline before it was renovated and were discovered by Sr. Marie Pauline. The idea to donate them came from Sr. Joan Daniel when she became aware of the need for church items in the Diocese of Puerto Plata. The bishop of the diocese was preparing for the celebration of the 525th anniversary of the first Mass celebrated in the new world.
Suffering Migrants Find Solace at The House For Refugees in El Paso
The situation at our southern border is extremely dire. Sr. Patrice can attest to the truth of that after spending two weeks volunteering at the House for Refugees in El Paso, Texas. Migrantswere brought to the house from the Detention Center where they were made to wait for their court dates. Fleeing from horrific conditions in Central America and Brazil many women and children seeking asylum in the US were instructed to wait in Mexico for months until they had proof of refugee status. The volunteers at the House of Refugees welcomed them to a space where they could feel safe and cared for. They received new clothes, hot meals, and transportation to the bus terminal or airport. The children were overjoyed to have a play room with lots of toys and activities to distract them from the harrowing experiences they had been through on their journey. Unfortunately, many of these migrants are deported back to their countries when they appear before a judge who will shatter their hopes for a safer life free from violence. There are no words to adequately describe the travesty that is going on at the US / Mexican border. Pope Francis calls it a “globalization of indifference.” What can we do? Advocate, volunteer, and pray for a conversion of heart on the part of lawmakers and our administration.
Witnesses For Peace
Sr. Lucia LHC, Sr. Maria LHC and Sr. Mary FMV, students of ACS, join other sisters and residents from Our Lady of Sorrows Convent and St. Francis Residence in Denville, NJ for their weekly prayer for peace. The group gathers every Monday from 1-1:30 to stand at the street corner to witness and pray for an end to violence in our world.
SCC fire for justice
Payton and Piper Wilson display the craft they made at the High Tea event organized by Regina Ralston, a Companion of Pauline from Ocean City, NJ. The crafts will be presented to Sr. Joelle’s Pre-Jordan families who are preparing for their child’s Baptism. Admission to the event was a gift for a newborn to be donated to Hope Pregnancy Center in Cape May, which assists needy expectant women.
St. Jude’s School in Mountaintop held a “Sock-it-To-Us” campaign during Catholic Schools Week. Students donated socks to raise awareness of children who live in poverty and are in need of everyday essentials.
Sr. Carlita accepted the invitation to be a volunteer Guest Reader for first grade students at St. Boniface School in Williamsport.
Sr. Mary Leonard and Sr. Marie Colette help Bill Tronolone, a volunteer, load donations from Nativity of Our Lord Parish. Generous parishioners donated clothes, toys, books, gift cards, and money for Jolie and our SCC adopted family from Africa. Some of the items were birthday gifts for three of the children, Seth, Chadrack and Maombi who will be celebrating their birthdays in the next two weeks.
My recent visit to the Refugee Center in El Paso, Texas has given me first-hand information about the trauma going on at the border. Besides helping with laundry, serving meals and cleaning, we were privileged to listen to the stories of our migrant brothers and sisters who have suffered so much in Central or South America and again at our border seeking asylum in the US. When they cross the border, they are put in detention centers where they remain for days and sometimes weeks before they are released to the Border Patrol and bussed to the Casa de Refugiados, a converted warehouse for refugees. At the center we welcomed them, fed them, played with the children, helped them make arrangements to get to their destinations with family or sponsors and drove them to a bus station or airport. The center is only a temporary relief from their suffering since they still have to await a court date to prove their need for asylum. Most of them will be deported back to their countries even after explaining their urgent need for asylum due to violence, threats to their safety, kidnapping and extortion. Most of our guests were women and children seeking refuge and many had been separated from spouses, parents and siblings at the border in an effort to have them change their mind and return to Mexico.
I listened to the heartbreaking story of a woman from Guatemala who traveled to Mexico with her 3 boys to escape the violence and seek refuge in the US. While waiting in Mexico her boys were kidnapped and she had to raise $8000. ransom to get them back. Needless to say, the boys were traumatized and she was desperate to get them to safety in the US. Some women were in wheel chairs due to broken ankles or legs from climbing over the wall. So many were depressed from their experience and our mission was to give them a sense of security and to restore their hope in humanity at least while they were with us. Angel, a 15-year-old from Mexico, told us that he wanted to be a lawyer and politician some day so he could change the laws that limit people from getting a better quality of life for their families. So many hopes and dreams… so much suffering at the margins of life. I saw the suffering Christ in so many members of the Body of Christ just trying to walk for life. We have much to do and much to pray for to help relieve the suffering of our brothers and sisters as the Gospel calls us to. And we have much to learn from them as they teach us how to trust and believe in the power of God’s providence.
(Sister Patrice Owens, NA Eastern Province)