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.
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.
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.
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.
We are promoting three action items to support H.R.1:
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!
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.
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.
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.
In 2010, our congregation’s communication directors from the four provinces collaborated to plan, develop and implement a new ministry to accept online prayer requests from anywhere in the world: Prayers Please.
At the time, they created a free prayer request app to take advantage of emerging technology to meet the need for a quick and easy way for people on the go to request prayers from the sisters. Ten years later, the need for prayer remains the same, but technology has evolved. With the ease of accessing mobile-friendly websites, we have concluded that the app is no longer necessary to continue the Prayers Please ministry. We will be retiring the app as of March 31.
Of course, the ministry continues! We always accept prayer requests through our website at: csjcarondelet.org/we-pray-for-you/.
We thank the John, Marie and Joseph Whalen Foundation, Inc. for their support of the Prayers Please app, the talented web developers who kept it functioning over the years, our communicators for keeping the ministry active, and our sisters for the prayers that are the heart of the ministry.
If you use the prayer app, you may miss being able to access the prayer request form with one tap. It’s simple to add a shortcut to the webpage on your smartphone or tablet, which will act similarly to the app. Just follow the instructions below.
The U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph condemns the violence at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. As members of the Federation, we join them in this public statement.
The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph joins with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in praying for peace after witnessing the violence and terrorism yesterday in our nation’s Capitol. We are deeply concerned about the state of our country and the future of our democracy. Our hearts ached as we watched white nationalists participate in these despicable actions that threaten not only to destroy our government but to rend the bonds that unite us. We commend and thank the members of Congress and staff who courageously continued their service to the nation last night even amid the chaos, as well as the law enforcement who helped protect and secure the building so the members could resume their responsibilities.
In our increasingly divided nation, we are saddened but not surprised by the predictable outcome of yesterday’s events. The Federation renews our Gospel Charism and commitment to being a unifying presence in the world through appreciation of diversity, transformation, and healing.
At this time, we feel each of us are asked to pause, reflect, and grapple with the history and legacy that brought us to this historic moment of white domestic terrorists attempting to take over our legislative branch. As Christians, we cannot ignore the images of the cross and flags bearing Jesus’ name that peppered yesterday’s scene. We cannot ignore the juxtaposition of the law enforcement response to yesterday’s violence at the Capitol versus the violence inflicted on Black Lives Matter protestors in June. We invite all people of good will to reflect on the next steps we must take to repair our democracy, eliminate white privilege, and contribute to the work of building a more perfect union.
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and our associates live, minister and travel in all corners of the world. To help us see just how far we reach, we’ve recruited an old friend of ours. Mother St. John Fontbonne helped the Sisters of St. Joseph survive persecution during the French Revolution, and she sent the first sisters to the Americas, where they settled in Carondelet, Missouri. She remains a guiding light for our sisters, so we think it’s fitting to take her on some of our travels.
Meet Flat Fontbonne! Inspired by the children’s book series about Flat Stanley, Flat Fontbonne will help us see just how far our congregation reaches.
The idea is simple:
When you see a picturesque opportunity, snap a selfie with her, then send it to us for our #FlatFontbonne photo collection. You can either email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtag #FlatFontbonne, so we see it!