Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021

The Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, together with our associates and partners, support the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA). We are committed to responding to the crisis of Earth, which is increasingly worsened by plastic production and pollution. Contact your Senators and Representatives or send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to show your support of this legislation.

We are deeply concerned that the United States produces the most plastic waste per capita of any country, an astounding 91% of which is never recycled. The U.S. has 4% of the world’s population but creates 12% of the world’s waste. Of the more than 350 million tons of plastic produced each year globally, 8 million tons wind up as plastic waste in the world’s oceans. Every year, the United States alone burns or buries in landfills 32 million tons of plastic, impacting the health of nearby communities. The petrochemical industry and its pollution disproportionately harm people of color and low-income communities where production plants choose to locate.

The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 builds on successful statewide laws across the country and outlines practical plastic reduction strategies to realize a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable future. It will tackle the exploding crisis of plastic pollution and transform waste and recycling management in the United States. This legislation seeks to meaningfully address the plastic pollution crisis by: 

  • Shifting the responsibility to design, manage and finance waste management and recycling programs to the manufacturers of packaging and foodservice products.
  • Prohibiting plastic waste from being shipped to developing countries.
  • Launching a nationwide beverage container refund program to bolster recycling rates.
  • Banning single-use plastic bags and placing a fee on the distribution of the remaining bags, which has been successful at the state level.
  • Banning certain single-use plastic products that are not recyclable.
  • Establishing minimum recycled content requirements for beverage containers, packaging and foodservice products.
  • Channeling huge investments in U.S. domestic recycling and composting infrastructure.
  • Putting a moratorium on new and expanding plastic production facilities and infrastructure projects until the EPA updates and/or creates vital environmental and health regulations to protect low-resourced and marginalized communities.
  • Requiring the EPA with the Academies of Science to conduct a comprehensive study on the environment and cumulative public health impacts of incinerators and so-called “chemical recycling” facilities.

This is a national and global issue. We strongly urge bipartisan cooperation to pass this bill.

   June 28th, 2021      Posted In: Congregation, Earth Spirituality, Featured Stories, General, In The News

For immediate release

Contact: Kim Westerman
Phone: 314.394.1985


The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet confirm that Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper, CSJ has signed a plea agreement with the Federal Prosecutor in Los Angeles. Sister Mary Margaret has agreed to charges on two counts: wire fraud and money laundering. Her arraignment should occur within a short period of time, followed by a determination of sentence. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet will await the completion of the full legal process before making any further comments.

   June 9th, 2021      Posted In: Featured Stories, In The News

Patricia Race


Associates are women and men from various faith traditions, married and single, who extend the mission and share the spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph without becoming vowed members. Associate Pat Hunt wrote the following tribute after the death of her dear friend and fellow member of the “Four Pats from Syracuse” Associate Pat Race on March 19.


Although I was saddened to learn of the death of my dear associate companion on the journey Pat Race, I found it heart-warming to learn that her passing occurred on the Feast of St. Joseph! What a fitting acknowledgment of her many faithful years with the Albany associate community, and particularly the community in Syracuse.

Pat has a first commitment story that’s hard to beat. In June of 2000, she was driving to the Dominican Retreat House for the first part of the annual Associate Commitment Weekend. Sharing the ride was another first commitment candidate Jane Dommett and associate Pat John. Almost there after a long trip through driving rain, the front passenger tire got caught in the mud on an unpaved shoulder. Pat Race tried to correct, but unfortunately, she couldn’t, and the car started twisting and turning until it came to rest upside-down at the bottom of a hill. Thank God that help arrived in minutes, and all three were taken to the hospital. Pat John was able to join the rest of the associates later that night, but Jane and Pat Race went back home when they were released. Thankfully, they recovered in time to make their first commitment at the first Syracuse associate meeting the following September.

You could tell by the twinkle in her eye that Pat always enjoyed the interaction in our group, especially the annual special occasions: Syracuse Mission Day, our Epiphany parties, our annual Winter Retreat at Alverna Heights, St. Joseph’s Day, our Commitment Weekend in Latham, and our annual June Picnic.

Unfortunately, Pat began experiencing a slow but steady downward curve in both physical and mental health a few years ago. In those early years of symptoms, the Syracuse associates met several times in her home parish of St. James in Cazenovia, where she would join us with her forever Irish charm. Although she wouldn’t have been able to join us last June, even if it we had been able to celebrate in Latham, it would have been her 20th commitment.

Pat John remembers fondly that Pat Race and Sister Joan Killoran would get together with Sister Carolyn Chmielewski and herself for lunch and cards on occasion, especially at the cottage on Tuscarora Lake. “It would be teams—the sisters versus the associates—and our favorite game was nine-card pitch. I can’t remember who won, but I do remember laughing a lot and a good time had by all.”

Our newest Syracuse associate, LuAnn Sims, regrets that she only got to interact with Pat a few times. Despite the few encounters, she says: “What I remember is that she was a lovely woman who had a kind soul and a loving heart.”

Associate Monica James has many wonderful memories of Pat’s influence on her not only becoming an associate but also a Catholic! Monica remembers many deep faith conversations through the RCIA process, which Monica says she found encouraging and full of wisdom. “Pat is the best…she will surely be missed.”

Pat Pilon laments the fact that the famous “Four Pats from Syracuse” are now down to three. We always kidded at associate gatherings about that. It seems like we were always in pretty close vicinity to each other at gatherings. We told them that if they needed a certain Pat, they were either close by or we probably knew where the Pat that they were looking for could be found. Outside the church after Pat’s funeral Mass, Monica brought a friend up to introduce her to us. As usual, we said that Pat Race was one of the four—and we realized that once again, the three of us were standing next to each other! We will miss our D’Artagnan.

Finally, as well as Pat’s passing from this life to Eternity on the Feast of St. Joseph, I am equally heartened by her funeral being held on the Feast of the Annunciation. Having completed her earthly efforts on God’s behalf, Pat followed Mary’s example and willingly surrendered to God’s last call: “Be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).

read Patricia Race’s obituary

read more about becoming an associate

   April 21st, 2021      Posted In: Albany, Featured Stories, General, In The News

Japanese flag

Our sisters in Japan have brought to our attention the urgent need of refugees and asylum seekers in their country. They asked us to sign on to a statement of the Joint Christian Churches prepared by the Center for Minority Issues and Mission. After reviewing it along with the report issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet agreed to sign the statement. We were able to engage in dialogue with our partners at the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St Joseph and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and they also agreed to sign.

The congregation is happy to be part of this international effort to address one of the most significant issues of our time. Climate change, nationalism, and racism continue to exacerbate this problem globally.

日本のシスター達から連絡があり、日本にいる難民や亡命希望者の緊急事態に応じる必要があることを知らせてくれました。日本のシスター達より、マイノリティー宣教センター(Center for Minority Issues and Mission)が作成したキリスト合同教会(Joint Christian Churches)のステートメントにサインをするよう依頼を受けました。このステートメントと共に、国連特別審査官(UN Special Rapporteur)が発行した移住者の人権についての報告書を検討しました結果、カロンデレットの聖ヨセフの姉妹は同ステートメントにサインすることに同意いたしました。私たちはパートナーである聖ヨセフの姉妹の米国連盟、そして宗教的女性のリーダーシップ協議会(Leadership Conference of Women Religious)ともこの件につき対話をし、これらグループも同ステートメントにサインをすることに同意いたしました。


Statement ステートメント

The Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet and the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St Joseph, based on our ongoing concerns and written statements in support of migrants, have signed a joint statement by churches opposing the proposed revision of Japan’s Immigration and Refugee Recognition Act.

Compelled by the Gospel and by our heritage to be responsive to the “dear neighbor,” we urge the government of Japan, a country with more than 3 million residents with foreign citizenship, to review its international obligations as a signatory of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on Human Rights, and the International Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, as well as an endorser of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. A careful review of these documents shows that several aspects of the proposed amendments to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act currently under consideration by the Diet (Japanese national legislature) are in conflict with international obligations:

  • The detention of migrants would become mandatory, could be for indefinite periods of time, and the terms of provisional release would be challenging for most migrants to meet.
  • It is not permitted under international law to return asylum seekers to their country of origin when there are substantial grounds for believing that the returnee would be at risk of irreparable harm.
  • There is no prohibition of immigration detention for minors nor provisions for a separate and speedy process for minors and unaccompanied children.

We join with the UN Special Rapporteur in urging changes to amendments that specifically resort to detention as an exceptional measure rather than the norm; that those detained be granted judicial review consistent with international standards; and that the best interest of the child is the guiding principle in designing and implementing policies for migrant and asylum-seeking children.

We join with the UN Special Rapporteur in urging Japan to develop a system that has the protection of refugees and asylum seekers and raises the number of refugees approved for resident status, as well as a review process for those who overstay their visas.



    • 移住者の拘留は強制となり、拘留期間は不確定、かつほとんどの移住者が仮放免されるための条件を満たすのは非常に困難である。
    • 祖国に戻った場合回復不可能な損害を受ける可能性のある亡命希望者を祖国に送還することは国際法に反する。
    • 未成年者の移民拘留の禁止令はなく、未成年者や同伴者のいない子供のための特別かつ迅速に手続きを進めるといった内容の条件が含まれていない。




   April 19th, 2021      Posted In: Congregation, Featured Stories, Federation, In The News, Japan, Justice

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. 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.

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.

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