Women and men religious are very involved locally in living out to the fullest their commitment to follow Christ. In this section of the website, the Canadian Religious Conference wishes to take note of their passion for humanity by making known their projects and achievements.
Global Conference Sparks Hope and Calls for Action
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK – Members of the North American Sisters of Charity Federation joined thousands of people from around the world Aug. 27-29 to participate in the international non-governmental organization (NGO) conference at the United Nations in New York City focusing on sustainable development. As part of the Sisters of Charity Federation, Sister Roma De Robertis, SCIC, travelled from Saint John, N.B. to participate in the 2014 NGO conference in the name of Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception.
"The conference, writes Sister Roma, evoked key questions: How might we respond as local members of global networks of citizens committed to sustainable development and an end to poverty? With whom will we pray and act for greater social and ecological justice?"
"During the conference, many women and young people offered skilled and impassioned leadership roles as part of collaborative networks. The conference highlighted the need for those most affected by injustice and environmental degradation to be consulted, heeded and actively involved in decision-making."
Read her story about the global conference: Global Conference Sparks Hope and Calls for Action
Sowing Justice SCIC and Associates - September/October 2014
The main focus of this issue of Sowing Justice is climate change and the seeking of climate justice. "Climate is a key focus for reflection and action as citizens mobilize in North America and around the world."
Open and download this PDF Document: Sowing Justice September/October 2014
CRC JPIC Atlantic Network Gathers for Spring Meeting
At their May 7-8, 2014 meeting in Moncton NB held always at the residence of the Soeurs Notre Dame du Sacré-Coeur, members heard two inspiring presentations from two of their own members. Auréa Cormier, NDSC, gave personal witness to the centrality of the JPIC ministry in the life of women religious and in her own life and Mary Tee, RSM, outlined the history, structure and functioning of KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.
In light of the recent report by the Council of Canadian Academies entitled Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada, the network agreed to send a letter to federal and provincial governments in support of a moratorium on fracking.
The group also approved the suggestion that four First Nations youth be offered places at this summer’s Social Justice Youth Camp at the Tatamagouche Centre. Religious congregations in the Atlantic region will be sponsoring them financially.
Photo: Berthe Boudreau, NDSC - Participants at the JPIC Atlantic Meeting - Spring 2014
Photo SCIC: “At the May 8, 2014 CRC JPIC Atlantic network meeting, Auréa Cormier, NDSC, gives an inspiring presentation on the importance of advocating against poverty.
Photo SCIC: Mary Tee, RSM addressing JPIC Atlantic network, spring 2014 in Moncton.
Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment
In their March/April 2014 newsletter, the Sisters of Charity Federation give a background on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment as well as the United Nations response to this important issue. The Sisters of Charity Federation newsletter includes suggestions for Reflection, Action and Prayer.
The newsletter has been prepared by ~ Prepared by Caroljean Willie, SC, NGO Representative at the UN ~ Sisters of Charity Federation
Open and download the PDF document: The United Nations and You
Sowing Justice May/June 2014
KAIROS Easter Season Message and of its its campaign calling for justice for extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders, Indigenous peoples and community leaders, members of progressive organizations and civilians in the Philippines;
WORLD Fair Trade Day: Fracking; Dates to keep in mind.
Open and download the May/June 2014 Issue: Sowing Justice
KAIROS Saint John and Area Presents a Display at a Christian Unity Service
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Sister Angie Martz, SCIC and Rev. Thomas Graham exhibit a display for KAIROS Saint John and Area at a Christian unity service the group hosted Jan. 19, 2014 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Harris expressed greetings and Rev. Keith Lyons offered the homily.
In her remarks, Sister Angie noted 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of inter-church coalitions which later became KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives. Sister Angie is Atlantic regional coordinator for justice-peace-creation for Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception and Associates. SCIC and Associates also participate in the JPIC Atlantic network (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation).
PeaceQuest Initiative Gains Momentum
Originating this past year with the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul in Kingston, Ontario, PeaceQuest (www.peacequest.ca) hopes to take shape nationally as Canada approaches the various anniversaries of World War I. The idea is to provide a community-based catalyst and forum to engage people in discussing issues of war and peace.
The PeaceQuest initiative is rooted in the recognition that anniversaries are occasions for reflection and remembrance. Last year, at the anniversary of the War of 1812, the federal government spent over $30 million to promote that particular war as a grand, nation-making event. In contrast, PeaceQuest will invite Canadians to observe the centenary of World War I by reflecting together on the tragedy of war and the promise of peace.
PeaceQuest envisions four areas or “streams” of activity: education, faith, culture and policy. Of these, the first two have clear links to churches and related organisations. PeaceQuest Kingston has already enjoyed remarkable success in developing an active partnership with the Algonquin Lakeshore District Catholic School Board. As well the PeaceQuest Kingston faith stream is planning ecumenical and inter-faith events (vigils, peace pilgrimages, prayer services, contemplative circles of silence) as the anniversaries of World War I approach. A PeaceQuest group has also formed in Ottawa. When other local chapters emerge, there is every reason to expect that this pattern will be repeated in other cities and regions.
Peace is an important focus of the JPIC ministry of the CRC, therefore the CRC endorses this initiative of the members of the CRC JPIC Ontario network.
We encourage you to find out more at www.peacequest.ca.
Visit to Canada of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
At the the conclusion of James Anya visit to Canada, a statement was issued. Here is the link to this statement:
Gathering Affirms Maritime Project's Focus on Advocacy
ANTIGONISH, N.S. - Collaborative advocacy for vulnerable persons in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick remains a priority for the four Canadian-based member congregations of the Sisters of Charity Federation, 20 women religious gathered at Bethany Center here recently agreed.
Hosted by Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish (CSM), the six members of the Federation Maritime Project Committee met Oct. 16 with members of their four leadership teams to reflect together on their shared commitment, committee activities of the past two years and possible future directions.
In 2008, the Maritime Project received a mandate from the four leadership teams to collectively advocate for vulnerable women and children in areas of housing and social assistance, as well as for working persons living in poverty. The initiative arose from the 2007 Federation gathering of leadership teams in Nazareth, Ky. which encouraged growth in collaboration. Leaders of the four Canadian-based congregations at the time defined collaboration as, “Coming together to share our charism, gifts and resources for others, especially the most vulnerable of society.”
Participating and sponsoring congregations are the CSM; Sisters of Charity of Halifax, N.S. (SC); Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur (NDSC; Moncton, N.B.) and Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC; Saint John, N.B.).
For five years, Maritime Project Committee members have engaged in educational efforts to learn more about persons and issues related to their mandate. They have offered presentations to Sisters and Associates and written to provincial and federal legislators to advocate for safe, affordable housing and a national housing policy. They have also advocated for adequate heating subsidies, social assistance levels and minimum wages.
The recent gathering in Antigonish reaffirmed the original focus of the Maritime Project and the importance of ongoing education and outreach to congregational members and Associates concerning the mandate. Participants also affirmed the importance of the committee’s continued relationships with other groups and networks in the region with similar priorities.
To read the complete report, open and download this PDF document: Gathering Affirms Maritime Project
Photos by Tanya Mullin ~ CSM Communications (Antigonish, N.S.)
CRC JPIC Atlantic Network Focuses On Indigenous Rights
At their September 25-26 meeting in Moncton NB, 25 JPIC representatives of religious orders from the four Atlantic Provinces continued their focus on indigenous rights and the Idle No More Movement.
Ed Bianchi, KAIROS manager of the Dignity and Rights portfolio, led the group in the Blanket Exercise designed to educate participants on the oppressive history of First Nations in Canada and the continued suppression of their rights.
Actions suggested in response included a letter to James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Open and download this PDF document :
Letter to Mr. James Anaya
Photos: JPIC Atlantic Members participate in the Blanket Exercise
Connections: CRC-JPIC Ontario Network - March 2013
In this first 2013 issue of the CRC-JPIC Ontario network newsletter Connections, members of the CRC JPIC Ontario core committee offer sound perspectives on vital JPIC issues of the day in Ontario and Canada and they include in their brief articles valuable information on events and resources. They are highlighting the very informative piece by Priscilla Solomon, CSJ because it addresses the Idle No More Movement. At their annual network meeting the members chose issues raised by the INM movement as one of the three areas for engagement in the short and long term.
The main topics in this issue are:
Integrity of Creation
Open and download this PDF Document: Connections, Volume 2, Issue 1
Sowing Justice March/April 2013
Sowing Justice is a Sisters of Charity of the Imaculate Conception and Associates newsletter.
This issue informs about several upcoming events in March and April 2013:
March 8: International Women's Day
March 17: Share Lent
March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 22: World Water Day
March 23: Earth Hour
April 11: 50th Anniversary of Peace on Earth Encyclical
April 22: Earth Day
Open and dowload this PDF document: Sowing Justice March/April 2013
Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception participate in the “Write for Rights” initiative
Saint John, N.B., December 10, 2012: Human Rights Day 2012 brought a storm and the funeral of one of their beloved members. Yet on Dec. 10 in Saint John, N.B., 12 Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception wrote letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience as part of Amnesty International’s “Write for Rights” initiative. They were joined by three Associates of their religious community, as well as the teenage daughter of one of the inquirers into SCIC association. For most, it was their first such “write-a-thon,” though many regularly write letters advocating for social justice, peace and environmental well-being.
Throughout their 158-year history, the Sisters have focused their ministry on persons who are sick, excluded and living in poverty. Since 2010, Sisters and Associates have committed themselves “to a greater understanding of the meaning and implications of advocacy.”
SCIC photo: Sister Theresa Martz.
SC Federation Maritime Project Advocates for Systemic Change
Since 2008, the Sisters of Charity (SC) Federation Maritime Project has been advocating for women and children with a focus on safe, affordable housing and adequate social assistance. The committee also advocates for working persons living in poverty.
It is an initiative of the four Canadian-based members of the North American SC Federation: Sisters of Charity of Halifax; Sisters of St. Martha (Antigonish, N.S.); Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur (Moncton, N.B.) and Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (Saint John, N.B.).
The committee is mandated by the four leadership teams and reports to the SC Federation. It also participates in Vincentian Family gatherings and initiatives advocating for systemic change. The SC Federation belongs to the worldwide, intergenerational Vincentian Family of lay leaders and women and men religious.
Connections: CRC-JPIC Ontario Network
Welcome to the first newsletter of the CRC-JPIC Network. Connections is intended as a way of achieving some of the goals the core committee set for itself.
There will be regular communication among members of the core committee about priorities and actions to be taken concerning key issues and about the information and suggested actions to be communicated to the wider Ontario network made up of the JPIC contacts from congregations and their co-workers. Connections: CRC-JPIC Ontario Network will offer links to resources (including prayer services) and will communicate notices of upcoming JPIC events. Each issue of Connections will be published on the CRC website under Workshops & Activities/Regional Activities.
Topics in this issue are :
INTEGRITY OF CREATION