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Ministries: Working for Justice

The challenge of the gospel and the spirit of faith and zeal which marked our founders, and our founding sisters, urges to respond to the needs of our time and to work with others in action for evangelical justice.  At the same time we place ourselves and our resources at the service of those who are most in need of justice, especially woman and children, enabling the powerless, the deprived, the marginalized, the voiceless to work effectively for their own development and liberation. (RSHM Mission Statement)

 RSHM AT THE UNITED NATIONS 

The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary became affiliated with the United Nations in 2006 as a non-governmental organization (NGO) associated with the UN Department of Public Information. The purpose of this affiliation is to extend the influence of the Institute’s mission “That All May Have Life” to a global level. As a presence at the UN, the RSHM NGO strives to work for the promotion of justice on behalf of the poor and the marginalized, especially women and children.

The principal means of achieving this end are education, participation and advocacy. We disseminate UN information resources to our members and, through them, to all those we serve. We encourage participation of members through their provincial and regional structures, especially their offices of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC). We advocate in cooperation with groups and organizations that have similar goals to make explicit our preferential options within the UN network of international bodies. We work especially to promote the UN’s Millennium Development Goals with particular focus on women and children. Specifically the NGO office:

  • works in partnership with the RSHM JPIC network;
  • issues Newsletters which inform members about policies, issues and actions that affect the promotion of justice;
  • responds to requests from members for information and networking contacts;
  • responds to requests from the RSHM Network of Schools to provide education for members;
  • offers the UNEP (UN Experience Program) which provides mentoring, study, observation, reflection and networking for RSHM interested in a UN experience;
  • collaborates with other NGOs as well as UN commissions and committees, and advocates with governments to insure that the human rights of all individuals are respected;

RSHM at the United Nations

For additional information please contact Brigid Driscoll, RSHM NGO Representative at: 

contactrshm@rshmeap.org 

JUSTICE, PEACE AND THE INTEGRITY OF CREATION

Since the 1975 General Chapter of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the call to justice has been seen as integral to the RSHM mission "to know and love God and make God known and loved." Justice can be described as an active choice in living right relationships with God, with others, and with all of God's creation.

As as we continue this faith journey of justice, we recognize that our world presents new ways of living in right relationships. Our spirituality calls us to be inserted as mystics and prophets in the heart of the world, to be women who place themselves and their resources at the service of those most in need of justice-the powerless, the deprived, the marginalized, the voiceless--and to work with all persons in shaping a globalization of compassion, solidarity, and hope.

As RSHM, we have named women and children as the focus of our ministerial commitment. This concern has led to our partnership with other groups which promote life, dignity and respect for all persons and for creation: CAST, NY-CRC-STOP and LifeWay Network (trafficking); CHIRLA  (immigration); Pax Christi (Peace); ROAR and ROW (environment). Both the Eastern and Western American Provinces also engage in educational initiatives such as an annual symposium on the global sin of human trafficking and a film series and discussion designed to foster our understanding of those perceived as "different."  To foster right relationships with creation, we have also engaged in a study of science and cosmology, giving us a new sense of stewardship in the responsible care of our Earth.   
, PEACE AND THE INTEGRITY OF CREATION

Since the 1975 General Chapter of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the call to justice has been seen as integral to the RSHM mission "to know and love God and make God known and loved." Justice can be described as an active choice in living right relationships with God, with others, and with all of God's creation.

As as we continue this faith journey of justice, we recognize that our world presents new ways of living in right relationships. Our spirituality calls us to be inserted as mystics and prophets in the heart of the world, to be women who place themselves and their resources at the service of those most in need of justice--the powerless, the deprived, the marginalized, the voiceless--and to work with all persons in shaping a globalization of compassion, solidarity, and hope.

As RSHM, we have named women and children as the focus of our ministerial commitment. This concern has led to our partnership with other groups which promote life, dignity and respect for all persons and for creation: CAST, NY-CRC-STOP and LifeWay Network (trafficking); CHIRLA  (immigration); Pax Christi (Peace); ROAR and ROW (environment). Both the Eastern and Western American Provinces also engage in educational initiatives such as an annual symposium on the global sin of human trafficking and a film series and discussion designed to foster our understanding of those perceived as "different."  To foster right relationships with creation, we have also engaged in a study of science and cosmology, giving us a new sense of stewardship in the responsible care of our Earth.  

RSHM CAMPAIGN AGAINST HUMAN SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING

The Coalition Against Slavery and Trafficking, Los Angeles, CA: “The mission of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) is to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery-like practices and to work toward ending all instances of such human rights violations. CAST’S activities are interconnected by a client-centered approach that seeks to empower survivors of trafficking to fully realize their individual potential while advancing the human rights of all trafficked survivors. CAST is providing the momentum for these survivors to plant the “seeds of renewal” that will give them the freedom to grow in the direction of their potential and dreams.” The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary have worked with CAST since 2006 spreading the word about the reality of Human Trafficking, working for legislation, as volunteers at their safe house and by fundraising.  www.castla.org

CAST Survivors

New York Coalition of Religious Congregations to Stop Trafficking of Persons: The Eastern American Province of the RSHM is a member of NY-CRC-STOP (New York Coalition of Religious Congregations to Stop Trafficking of Persons), a coalition of 30 religious congregations of women and men within the NY metropolitan area searching for ways to combat human trafficking through educating the public, working for legislation to prevent human trafficking, and providing safe housing for survivors of human trafficking. With other congregations and foundations, we also support LifeWay Network which was established "to provide a safe and welcoming environment for steps toward a new life path for survivors of human trafficking. Its goal is form partnerships to establish a safe house and a network of safe spaces for these survivors." In 2011, LifeWay was successful in establishing a safe house in the New York metropolitan area.

 CHIRLA “The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) was formed in 1986 to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles; promote harmonious multi-ethnic and multi-racial human relations; and through coalition-building, advocacy, community education, and organizing, empower immigrants and their allies to build a more just society.”

From CHIRLA's Story: “Los Angeles is a city historically rich in ethnic diversity. It is home to immigrant groups from throughout the world and has a long and successful tradition of organizing for issues of social justice, including immigrant rights.
For the past twenty-one years, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) has been at the forefront in the fight for immigrant and refugee rights in Los Angeles and across the state and nation.”
CHIRLA serves Families with children, low wage workers and immigrant youth.

The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Western American Province have been involved with CHIRLA since 1993 through advocacy, education, and financial support. www.chirla.org

WORKING FOR PEACE 

The Network for Peace through Dialogue, incorporated in 1990, is directed by two RSHM to create opportunities for individuals and groups to engage in constructive conversation in an atmosphere of openness and mutual respect. The Network considers dialogue to be a necessary tool in the peace building process. The Network presents critical, contentious, and current issues and engages dialogue in order to expand understanding. Programs include face-to-face Living Room Dialogues, symposiums and conferences, and on-line exchanges in social media. The Network produces a semi-annual newsletter with wide domestic and international distribution, as well as several publications on important issues such as Human Trafficking. See
our web site for more information:
www.networkforpeace.com/index.html
Network Blog:
www.networkforpeace.com/wordpress/blog.php ; Network Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/pages/Network-For-Peace-Through-Dialogue/194381545392


Two Minute Video: "Why Dialogue?"

 

ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY

In conjunction with our Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee, the Eastern American Province is a member of Religious Organizations Along the River (ROAR) whose Mission Statement is the following: "As members of religious communites conscious of our communion with the land we own in the Hudson River Bioregion, we believe:

  • that we share kinship with all creation;
  • that human beings and the natural world must go into the future as a single sacred community or both will perish;
  • that the ecologically sound care of our lands is a God-given mission.

Impelled by these beliefs and recognizing a time imperative, we come together to support one another in using our lands with an attitude of respect for the beauty and integrity of earth; collaborate with each other and learn together; address the interrelated issues of poverty, justice, and ecology in this bio-region.

Drawing from our community traditions and experience, as well as from the new cosmology, we will channel our mutual efforts into education, motivation and advocacy.  Grounded in the movements of contemplation and action, we will seek to collaborate with others who share common concerns and values. 

In addition, the Eastern American Province contributes to ROW, Religious On Water which is a group of women religious concerned about the ocean, watersheds, estuaries, and all water issues based in Elberon, NJ.

Eastern American Province 50 Wilson Park Drive Tarrytown, NY 10591 (914) 631-8872      Western American Province 441 N. Garfield Ave Montebello, CA 90640 (323) 887-8821
 
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