Social Justice Stations were read and prayed -one week.
Three readers and power point with social justice issues-one week
Living Stations and signs with social justice issues – one week
Collected $1300 for St. Felix Church in Cantalice, Italy
Collected money for Women’s Center and the Cradle
S Lauren Lapinski attended Day on immigration sponsored by Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants
S Jeanine did a presentation to the Elder Sisters on Women’s History Month
S Jeanine and S Carole Mary led discussions on values in the upcoming elections
following the guidelines from LCWR
S Carole presented the Justice and peace issues from the Felician Website
S Carole discussed with the elder sisters how we are becoming a green site
The Lenten calendar for Caring for Creation was posted as well as the Lenten Calendar
from Sisters and Brothers of the Immigrants
Posted the Good Friday reflection on the death penalty and incorporated petitions for those being executed, their families, their victims and families and an end to the death penalty.
S Jeanine Heath along with S Christelle Sawicki and S Jacqui Keefe attended the Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC
Sisters did action alerts from Project Irene (Issues relating to women and children in Illinois) and other action alerts.
Sisters incorporated justice and Peace intercessions at Liturgy
Plant Managers attended a conference in Baltimore about how to make our buildings more green.
- Sisters participated in life vigil and march around an abortion clinic on Good Friday. The vigil and march was led by a Bishop.
- Sisters participated in the Catholic Platform for the Common Good which will be
presented to Presidential Candidates.
- Justice and Peace Committee met on March 8—plan Earth Day, Stamp Out Despair
- Attended human trafficking in NJ conference
- Sisters donated to CRS to commemorate World Water Day and also for Palm Sunday
-Now that we are showing the Updates on a big screen TV to the sisters who do not have email, we will also start visiting the website. Today I plan to take the sisters on a trip to the Northwest Territories.
-Sent letters to President Obama to rescind the Health and Human Services mandate forcing Catholic institutions to provide insurance that covers abortifacients, contraceptives, etc.
-Three sisters tutored two evenings per week at the St. Felix Education Center in Rio Rancho, NM
-Several sisters signed a number of justice and peace petitions to end capital punishment, to protect the environment, etc.
-Several sisters signed a number of petitions to counter campaigns to legalize practices such as same sex marriage
-Conserved water by not letting water run unnecessarily, used a water-saving washing machine for laundry, restricted water flow in shower, replaced faulty toilets with low flow toilets, etc.
-Conserved electricity by turning off lights and heat when not needed
-Recycled or repurposed aluminum, paper, plastics, various items, etc.
-Used paper on both sides when possible
-Helped sisters suffering from age and illness, taking time to take them to appointments, on outings, etc.
-Respected the human dignity of the elderly by practicing patience with them, joining them for meals, etc.
-Listened in on two Justice for Immigrants phone conferences
-Invited interested sisters and associates to meet Tuesday evening, April 17, to gather input for Platform for the Common Good.
-Continued contributions to monthly collections at central convent to benefit various justice and peace causes
-Continued to educate ourselves on justice and peace topics by reading many of the articles and watching several of the videos recommended by the committee
-Eliminated violent phrases from our vocabularies
The Sisters of the New York Region have participated in action on:
Public Policy: The Sisters have continued to support the initiatives of the USCCB
and supporters of the Stop the HHS Mandate effort to defend religious freedom
and freedom of conscience.
Sister Christelle represented the Diocese of Buffalo at the NYS 2012 Catholic Conference on Public Policy Day- Catholics at the Capital held in Albany, New York on March 13th. The issues addressed were: the Radical Abortion Bill, Protection of the Poor, Community Reintegration, Assistance for Immigrants and the Preservation of Catholic Schools. Sister also participated in the Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace and Justice held in Washington, DC . Information on the release of a Faithful Budget promoting comprehensive and compassionate budget principles has been shared with the community at large.
Several Sisters have also become involved in becoming more informed about the
Occupy Wall Street movement and the principles guiding this movement as they
organize for future activities in Western New York and across the country.
Other sisters have been involved in expressing opposition to the outrageous subsidies large oil companies have continued to enjoy while Americans face ballooning fuel prices at the pump.
Interfaith Dialogue: Sister Christelle Sawicki and Sister Cynthia Kilian attended
the 17th interfaith conference, sponsored by the Ahmadyya Muslim Community,
held at the Millennium Buffalo Hotel. The topic of discussion presented by a panel
representing the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Secular Humanism
traditions, was “Do We Need Organized Religion?”.
Reverence for the Integrity of Creation: The Sisters were involved in several local
and statewide initiatives to support the banning of fracking in New York State.
The Associates were also helpful in these initiatives.
Empowerment of Human Dignity: During the celebration of Women’s History Month, the sisters participated in several activities which highlighted the many ways in which women have contributed to making our world a better place. The commemoration of Women’s History Month included: posting information about women who have contributed to transforming the world in which they lived, sharing the Franciscan Prayer to Mark International Women’s day, the sharing of information on the efforts of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. Sisters and employees of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Complex were invited to engage in a reflection on how we have been empowered by other women and the role we can play in the empowerment of women by affirming their gifts and talents. The Sisters joined the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Currently the sisters are strategizing with Sister Christelle and Kim Kotz, Professor and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education at Villa Maria College on how they can be actively involved in supporting the “Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack Event “ to be held at the college on September 21-22, 2012.
Promotion of Nonviolence: Four Sisters participated in an Institute for Nonviolence sponsored by the SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center For Nonviolence. Teny Oded Gross, Executive Director of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence and Anthony Thigpen, one of the street workers for the organization shared some of the principles and practices of the Nonviolence Streetworkers Program which turns combatants into peacemakers. Teny refers to the program as “recycling human capital”.
The Third Annual Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies is being held during the weeks of July 19th-23rd and July 26th-30th. Located in Western New York, this award-winning, nationally recognized program is designed to help students and teachers make a difference in their world.
On Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 SM Jean Sliwinski addressed the group on the issue of sweatshop labor. The focus was on the low wages and poor working conditions in off-shore factories. Participants also learned about places in the United States where these types of conditions also exist. S Jean emphasized the need to spread awareness of the existence of sweatshops, become conscious of where the items we purchase are made, contact companies to express concerns about labor issues, and to become involved by joining organizations dedicated to sweatshop labor.For more information visit http://www.buffaloforafrica.org/summerinstitute/
SHELTERING with Creation through “green” building
As wise and faithful stewards of their financial resources, the Felician Sisters’ leadership team set aside funds over time for the eventual renovation of the 75-year-old buildings at their Convent and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School in Coraopolis, PA. When they interviewed construction companies, the Sisters looked for ways to implement their Franciscan principles of care for creation. Locally-based Sota Construction understood their commitments and embraced all 155,000 square feet of what would be the company’s largest project to that point, affecting 360 students and 75 convent residents.
The architecture team at Perkins Eastman Architects hosted conversations with parents, students, faculty, Sisters, nurses, and other community members to gain an understanding of their concerns. New features of the renovation include solar panels (which heat 10 percent of their water), motion detectors and lighting fixtures that reduce waste and increase efficiency, heat pumps, and paint with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Renewed features include flooring and furniture made out of recycled fibers, an acre of oak wood flooring, a mosquito-infested cistern refurbished for the air conditioning system, and formerly unused courtyards now vibrant with native plants and rain barrels.
In addition to reduced costs in gas and water bills, the Felician community has experienced the benefits of their stewardship in happier and healthier students and residents. Respiratory problems have improved due to better air quality, and the insulation developed from recycled blue jeans blocks all noise from airplanes that used to disrupt classes. Students participate in vermicomposting and experience the beauty of a cross-country trail through a restored meadow that has become a habitat for wildlife.
The project has won 12 awards, including the U.S. Green Building Coalition’s Gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification, and is part of a tour of green buildings. The Felicians have no regrets about their undertaking. With their intentional savings and grants from the PA Department of Environmental Protection, the project was not as expensive as they had expected. School Principal Sr. Francine Horos, CSSF encourages other communities to explore similar options: “there is no reason you should not consider being green.”
CLOTHING Creation in prayer and beauty
The Felician Sisters in Lodi, NJ commemorated the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day with a second annual program of prayer and song at their Peace Site. Students, faculty, and staff from Immaculate Conception High School and Felician College led prayer and introduced state Assemblywomen Joan Voss and Connie Walker; Jennifer Mancuso, the Chief of Staff for state Senator Robert Gordon; and Bruce T. Masopust, the Mayor of Lodi. The children from the Felician College Day Care entertained everyone present with song. During the ceremony, Fr. John O’Neill, a professor at Felician College, blessed flowers that students from the Felician School for Exceptional Children had planted at the peace site prior to Earth Day. High school and college students also had the opportunity to speak with the legislators about their initiatives to care for creation.
In the last days of Advent sisters from the general council and the Generalate local community decided to do something more than is usually done for the poor in Rome. It is a Generalate tradition to gift those who are coming to our door asking for food with bigger and nicer package at Christmas. Added to the daily packages of two sandwiches, are a fresh homemade bread prepared by Sister Zyta and some sweets, drinks and oranges. This year the sisters also went out to the streets of Rome to those who do not come to our door.
An additional interesting experience was to see the Italian people watching us with the poor on the streets on our way to Termini. Some would stop their cars and some would even approach us asking for prayers for themselves. Normally, when we go to the city to shop or visit places, this would not happen or happened very rarely. This time each pair of sisters had this experience. May God be praised and may we learn from these experiences!