Sisters urge Senate to pass S.1, the For the People Act

Our Congregational Efforts for Election Reform

On March 3, 2021 the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act. Over the last several weeks 67 sisters and friends sent letters to their representatives urging them to co-sponsor the bill. We are grateful to all who supported our efforts.

Our next step as we journey farther is to support S.1, the For the People Act, the companion bill in the Senate. This bill addresses election reform, making it easier, not harder to vote; ending the dominance of big money in our politics and ensuring public officials work for the public interest. Passing the Senate will require bi-partisan collaboration. For more information, download our two-page position paper on S.1.

We are promoting three action items to support S.1:

  1. Ask your Senators to support S.1
  2. Send a letter to the editor
  3. Schedule an online conversation with your Senators

We have prayed for peace and justice. Now it is time for us to act to address the systemic racism and injustice that have so negatively impacted our election laws. Together we can make a difference!

Action 1: Contact your Senator

The first action is to contact your Senator in the United States Congress and ask them to support S.1’s rapid movement through the Senate committee process. We have prepared a sample letter that you can edit and submit. Just fill out the form below, make any changes to the letter and click “Send My Email” to send your email to your Senators.

Action 2: Send a letter to the editor

Our second action is to increase public awareness of this bill by getting as many letters to the editor published as possible. Often receiving 10-12 letters from different people having similar concerns about an issue will be enough for editors to publish a single letter. We have prepared a sample letter to the editor for you to customize. Adding a response to an article in their paper helps them know you are a reader. Right now, there are many articles being published related to election reform, so this is a timely topic. Please fill out the brief form, and choose an appropriate paper.

Action 3: Schedule a meeting with your Senator

Our third action is to encourage you to set up an online visit with your Senators or their aides to discuss the support of the bill. Sometimes, we have gathered a group to attend this meeting. We have prepared a two-page position paper that will help you to be prepared for this visit. Sister Patty Johnson is available to help any group that feels like they need a subject matter specialist to help them be prepared to meet with their Senators. She can even attend your meeting if it gives you more confidence.

   April 5th, 2021      Posted In: Congregation, Featured Stories, General, In The News, Justice


"We vow to use our Gospel Charism and mission of unifying love for the healing and transformation of the world to commit ourselves to cleanse our hearts and rid our land of these twin evils."

The U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph stands against the racism and misogyny directed towards the Asian-American and Pacific Island communities. As members of the Federation, we join them in this public statement.

The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph joins the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in condemning racism and sexism in all their harmful forms — whether the violent acts of white supremacists and misogynists or the daily acts of hate and discrimination that diminish us all.

We grieve with the citizens of Atlanta and the Asian-American and Pacific Island communities. We mourn with those who have lost loved ones to hateful acts of violence, with all who live in fear, and with all whose dignity is threatened by xenophobia and chauvinism. We lament the racism and sexism that continue to afflict our communities, threaten neighbors, and denigrate all we hold dear.

We acknowledge our own complicity in institutional racism and sexism. We vow to use our Gospel Charism and mission of unifying love for the healing and transformation of the world to commit ourselves to cleanse our hearts and rid our land of these twin evils. We promise to continue to use our collective voice and energy to build God’s beloved community where all are one.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND HOW TO GET INVOLVED, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO VISIT AND DONATE TO THESE ORGANIZATIONS:

    • Asian American Advancing Justice- Atlanta:  a nonprofit legal advocacy group protecting the rights of Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in Georgia and the Southeast
    • AAPI Women Lead and #ImReady Movement: support AAPI women and girls with workshops and research, and promotes movements such as #ImReady, which addresses issues like gender-based and racial discrimination and sexual harassment in the community
    • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: a national organization, founded in 1974, working to protect and promote civil rights for Asian-Americans

 

read the statement on the Federation website

   March 24th, 2021      Posted In: Featured Stories, Federation, General, In The News, Justice


God Bless the Storyteller

by Therese Sherlock, CSJ

No one tells the stories of the family of Joseph better than Mary McGlone, CSJ. There isn’t a sister-founder or foundation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the United States that you can’t find engagingly described in Mary’s two-volume history. Because this project was commissioned and published by the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Mary’s research goes beyond Carondelet and shows how far the charism has taken all Sisters of St. Joseph who have roots in Father Medaille’s Little Design.

Anything of Which a Woman Is Capable: A History of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the United States, Volume I, published in 2017, dashes through every foundation the sisters made from 1836 to 1920. Mary’s new book, Called Forth by the Dear Neighbor: Volume II of the History of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the United States, hot off the press in January 2021, is its sequel. In this new volume, Mary profiles congregations more fully, exploring their history through the lens of a distinguishing ministry, a founder or a location, an irreconcilable conflict or an opportunity too good to pass up. The reader meets many “characters,” as the old nuns used to call them, women unstoppable in their desire to see their visions fulfilled.

As an example of how foundations quickly branched out, Mary tells the story of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brooklyn (later Brentwood) who were founded in 1856 by sisters from Philadelphia and Buffalo, one of whom hailed from Carondelet. Brooklyn grew quickly, and they were able to send sisters to Boston in 1869, and a few years later other sisters went to Rutland, Vermont, and Baden, Pennsylvania. These three communities became diocesan, a regular occurrence in this period when American bishops were judged by the number of Catholic schools and other institutions they had in their dioceses. The drama of sisters vs. bishop in Boston could easily be a miniseries on Netflix.

Mary describes vividly how the Buffalo congregation continued our foundational ministry to people who are deaf. Orange, California, founded from La Grange, became known for health care. The four Carondelet provinces each established one or more colleges. Many CSSJ congregations sent sisters to serve outside the continental United States—Japan, China, Peru, Hawai’i, Australia, to name a few.

Bringing the story into the late 20th and 21st centuries, Mary chronicles the rise of the sister formation program, the post-Vatican II period which challenged everything we thought was immutable in religious life, the gathering together in the Federation, the merging of congregations and the foundation of the Congregation of St. Joseph, the emergence of new ministries, a growing awareness of our unity in our diversity. The last sections of this book bring us back to LePuy and to our sisters in the global community.

This is such a good read, you will want to get your own copy. It is now available for order online.

   March 22nd, 2021      Posted In: General


Earth Day 2021 Action Alert:

Ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reevaluate and permanently revoke Formosa Plastics’ permit

In collaboration with the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St Joseph, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet asks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to permanently withdraw the permit allowing Formosa Plastics to build a large petrochemical complex that will double air pollution in St James Parish, Louisiana. Learn more about Rise St. James and UN efforts to end environmental racism in Cancer Alley below.

We invite you to take action by sending an email to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking them to revoke the permits for Formosa Plastics with this form.

RISE St James

Meet our dear neighbor Sharon Lavigne and her neighbors in Cancer Alley in Louisiana. Sharon and her neighbors in the St. James Parish are at the center of a critical intersection of racial injustice and climate change. Sharon will be our speaker at our celebration of Earth Day this year.

Read more about Sharon and RISE St James
Register for our Earth Day presentation

 

United Nations human rights experts identify environmental racism in Cancer Alley

Recently, United Nations Human Rights experts have raised serious concerns about the further industrialization of Cancer Alley, clearly calling this concentration of petrochemical complexes a form of environmental racism. The experts call on the U.S. Government to deliver environmental justice in communities all across America, starting with St. James Parish. To read about the UN perspective, visit the UN Report or the UN News announcement.

“This form of environmental racism poses serious and disproportionate threats to the enjoyment of several human rights of its largely African American residents, including the right to equality and non-discrimination, the right to life, the right to health, right to an adequate standard of living and cultural rights,” they said.
Federal environmental regulations have failed to protect people residing in “Cancer Alley,” the experts said.

   March 5th, 2021      Posted In: Congregation, Featured Stories, General, In The News, Justice


Our Congregational Efforts for Election Reform

In response to the growing unrest over the election and the divide in our nation, we shared the statements put out by LCWR and the Federation to reflect on next steps to repair our democracy, eliminate white privilege and contribute to building a more perfect union. Additionally, we provided a Novena for Solidarity, Peace, and Justice. Our next step as we journey farther is to support H.R.1, the For the People Act, currently introduced as the first bill of this new legislative session. This bill addresses election reform, making it easier, not harder to vote; ending the dominance of big money in our politics, and ensuring public officials work for the public interest.

Download our two-page position paper on H.R.1

We are promoting three action items to support H.R.1:

1. Ask your U.S. Representative to Cosponsor H.R.1,
2. Send a Letter to the Editor
3. Schedule an online conversation with your U.S. Representative

We have prayed for peace and justice. Now it is time for us to act to address the systemic racism and injustice that have so negatively impacted our election laws. Together we can make a difference!


Action 1 – Contact Your U.S. Representative

The first action is to contact your U.S.Representative in the United States Congress and ask them to co-sponsor this bill and support its rapid movement through the House Committee process. We have prepared a sample letter that you can edit and submit. Just fill out the form below, make any changes to the letter, and click “Send My Email” to send your email to your Representative.


Action 2 – Send a Letter to the Editor

Our second action is to increase public awareness of this bill by getting as many letters to the editor published as possible. Often receiving 10-12 letters from different people having similar concerns about an issue will be enough for editors to publish a single letter. We have prepared a sample letter to the editor for you to customize. Adding a response to an article in their paper helps them know you are a reader. Right now, there are many articles being published related to election reform, so this is a timely topic. Please fill out the brief form, choose which paper you want to contact from the list provided, edit the letter to include customizations, and click “Send My Letter” to send the letter.


Action 3 – Schedule a Meeting with Your U.S. Representative

Our third action is to encourage you to set up an online visit with your U.S. Representative or their aides to discuss the request that they co-sponsor a bill. Sometimes, we have gathered a group to attend this meeting. We have prepared a two-page position paper that will help you to be prepared for this visit. Sister Patty Johnson is available to help any group that feels like they need a subject matter specialist to help them be prepared to meet with their Representative. She can even attend your meeting if it gives you more confidence. We will plan visits with our Senators at a later time when this bill is being considered in the Senate.

   February 16th, 2021      Posted In: Congregation, Featured Stories, General, In The News, Justice


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