February 20th marks the annual World Day of Social Justice, as established by the General Assembly of the United Nations, and this year our Congregation is also celebrating 150 years of promoting human dignity. This is definitely a sacred time for us to look back with gratitude, act in the present with passion, and dream of the future with hope.

Our work for justice is led by our International Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee and Office, better known as JPIC for short.  Sr. Katty Huanuco CCVI is the Director of the JPIC Office and Sr. Martha Ann Kirk CCVI is the Chair of the JPIC Committee.

The International JPIC Committee includes collaborators and sisters from Mexico, Peru, and the United States, supporting the entire Congregation and our Ministries to understand and get involved in the work for social justice from a global perspective.

Since 1869 to the present day, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word have responded to the injustices of their times through their various ministries.  Solidarity with the suffering people of God is imperative to our call to make real and tangible the merciful love of the Incarnate Word in the world today.

Through the Incarnation, God shows solidarity with the most vulnerable and marginalized.  That is why in 1984 during the General Chapter, the Congregation adopted a preferential option for the poor as a response to injustice.  This also created our Pastoral Popular work in Mexico. Committed to helping realize the Kingdom of God here and now, in 1998 the U.S. province adopted a Corporate Stance against the death penalty, and in 2006 signed on to the Earth Charter.  The Congregation also established the ministry ofHeadwaters in San Antonio, to live our call to protect and care for God’s creation. 

Our commitment was again strengthened in 2008 when the Congregation formed the International Justice and Peace Committee which, “utilizes all methods possible to educate, inform and form members of the Congregation in the ways of Justice and Peace, and exercise corporate power and congregational influence to promote systemic change. [1]

Conscious of the global reality in which we live and trying to radically follow the Incarnate Word, in 2015 the Congregation created theCongregational Office for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) as one of the most concrete ways to respond to our call to: “seriously commit to the poor and vulnerable and collaborate with individuals and organizations that share our same values, taking the risk of a prophetic and corporate stance in favor of justice, peace, and the care of creation.[2]

In this journey to collaborate for social justice, we have discovered that injustice is rooted in the misuse and abuse of power, resources continue to be concentrated in the hands of a few, and women are still the most vulnerable to different forms of oppression.

Therefore our priorities in our work for peace and justice are the same as those in Catholic Social Teaching.  The four main areas around which we organize our work are: ecology, human rights, poverty, and immigration. Each year, JPIC chooses particular themes in which to focus for that year.  In 2019 the focus of our creativity, prayer, and collaborative work is to build a culture of peace and nonviolence.

Our methods of promoting social justice take many forms such as: preparing prayer resources, reflections on the relationship between faith, spirituality, and sustainable living, promoting corporate statements and actions against human trafficking, in support of immigrants and refugees, promoting the care of creation and peacemaking, and actively participating in local, national, and international networks with individuals and groups working for social justice.

 We strive to ‘defend the right, without any discrimination, to a natural and social environment that promotes human dignity, health, and spiritual well-being with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities. [3]  We want to respond as mystical and prophetic, creative and audacious women, in light of the realities of death that unjust systems generate. [4]

We long to reveal the Good News of the Gospel: sharing the non-violent love of Jesus Christ, advocating for just laws and policies in society, promoting collaboration at all levels, living in a way such that all life can thrive, serving the common good with a preferential option for the poor and radiating joy. [5]

To achieve this vision we invite all people to join our commitment to collaborate ‘with those in networks working for justice, peace and the care for creation, focused on the poor and vulnerable, joining efforts in the daily work to incarnate Jesus in the world. [6]


Original text from Justice and Peace blog

[1] Chapter Acts 2008

[2] Chapter Acts 2014

[3] Earth Charter

[4] Chapter Acts 2018

[5] Congregational Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation – Vision Statement

[6] Chapter Acts 2018

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