ADVOCACY EFFORTS
Throughout our history, the members of our congregation have addressed very difficult situations and serious injustices.  We ground ourselves in prayer, and seek to transform our world in the spirit of Francis, Clare and Mother Clara. In the spirit of the Gospel and Catholic Social Thought, we strive to respond respectfully to all whether they agree or disagree with our positions.Through advocacy efforts, we encourage specific actions to address our social justice concerns. By reflecting upon and sharing our personal experiences around injustices, violence and the concerns for ecology, we create credible positions for others to consider.
As far as possible, our advocacy considers local and global areas of concern that promote justice, build peace and care for creation.  We advocate for a consistent ethic of life that address the safety and quality of life for all persons. We promote change of attitudes and behaviors in government policies and business practices to better recognize human rights.
JUSTICE

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Migration: Immigration, Refugees and Trafficking. We consider both sides of the immigration issue: the economic and political circumstances in home countries that force individuals to leave; and the care and services provided to immigrants and refugees as they seek to create a new life for themselves and their families. We know the vulnerability of families when parents must live and work in other countries. 
We have been moved by the stories of the victims of trafficking who have been forced into labor and the sex industry.  We have provided counseling services and utilized networks to meet their needs. Our Involvement with immigrants includes helping them obtain healthcare, green cards, and housing.
Advocacy:  We recognize an international effort is necessary to address the dire consequences of the trafficking industry and immigration concerns. Our advocacy efforts are directed to specific needs of immigrants and refugees. We promote legislation that is comprehensive and addresses the numerous interrelated services needed by immigrant peoples. 
Click here:

Sr. Stefanie's work with immigrants and refugees

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Children and Youth Engagement. We strive to affirm and value the lives of young people. Equal opportunities for girls and boys are essential.  Many young people feel hopeless and turn to negative behaviors with life-long destructive consequences. In our schools, we work with teachers, parents and children to provide a quality education, with an emphasis on moral and spiritual development.
We foster educational opportunities for the children in our orphanages. We motivate children to be productive and create positive opportunities for them. Through case management, we guide the young to make good decisions. We identify children whom we suspect are being abused, and work with agencies to address this abuse. In addition, we engage in pastoral work with the young who are in prison.
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Advocacy: In as many ways as possible, we advocate for quality education, creativity and positive development of young people.  We address the well being of all children, and advocate against child abuse, child pornography, child labor and other forms of endangerment.

Click here: Photos-December 2012: In Romania children made presents for other children and youth participate in reflection groups.

Women's Issues. Gender equality and women’s rights are essential issues in our Congregation’s social justice efforts.  Today, we look to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals to help us consider the complexity of international concerns for women. In all nations of the world, we recognize women do not always have access to services for their health and well being.  In many places, women are often targeted for abuse and treated as property in conflict and war. 
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Advocacy: We advocate for the value of women by carefully considering their cultural context.  We advocate for healthcare, education, and respect for the roles of women in society.   We support micro-financing programs which help create opportunities for women to build better lives for their families.

Healthcare and HIV/AIDS. Through our sponsored healthcare systems, hospitals and clinics, we are providing quality medical services around the world. We emphasis respect for all the stages of life from “womb to tomb.”  We share our hospital supplies and equipment with developing countries. 
A common focus for our Congregation is the HIV/AIDS crisis which affects the quality of life of many countries. Access to HIV/AIDS medication and services are essential for the well being of persons with HIV/AIDS and their families.

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Advocacy: We advocate for essential healthcare treatment for all persons. This includes encouraging pharmaceutical companies to share medicines with developing countries. In a particular way,  we have advocated for the wider distribution of drugs that would extend the life of those persons living with HIV and AIDS.

Click here: Photos-December 2012: In the United States Taize Prayer Service for World AIDS Day

Poverty and the Distribution of Resources. We recognize the increasing inequality of the distribution of wealth in all nations. We are especially mindful that the lifestyles of persons in the industrialized world is supported by our brothers and sisters in developing countries.  We are challenged to consider specific changes in the way we use resources. We look at the root causes of poverty, and work with other organizations which promote basic human rights -- the need for food, clothing, housing, education and employment.
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We have learned how to rate corporations by their treatment of their employees, the community where a company is located and the environment. We support those corporations which promote progress, and consider social issues in addition to profit.
Advocacy: We advocate for the common good of all affected by the use of resources. We especially promote the human rights of the poor and the marginalized. We support government policies that assure justice and care for all its citizens.

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PEACE BUILDING
Peace Building As followers of St. Francis, promoting peace is at the center of all that we do.  As a congregation, we are dedicated to a variety of peace building efforts. We pray for peace and join local and global peace movements. Globally, we protest military conflicts and the development and use of nuclear weapons. We have worked in conflict situations and have helped to rebuild relationships after the resolution of conflicts.  Locally, we know the value of witness as peaceful people. Simply by our presence, we bring peace and compassion to all we meet.  We have developed a nonviolence educational program used for personal growth and shared in our ministries and sponsored services.

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Advocacy: We advocate for peaceful and sustainable resolution to conflicts. We pray for and encourage government and military leaders to build peaceful, enduring relationships and provide for respectful rebuilding in areas of conflict.  In consideration for the overall safety of our planet, we advocate for a nuclear free world.
CARE OF CREATION
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Care of Creation  Integrity for Creation requires a commitment to an equal share in the use of natural resources, the promotion of sustainable practices, and the development of renewable energy.  We are concerned about clean water sources in the world and have addressed concerns about the pollution of water in the Moselle River (France), the Amazon (Brazil) and the Great Lakes (United States).
Our Sisters and Associates have been involved in a number of educational opportunities on climate change, bio-diversity and Franciscan thinking as eco-citizens. We recycle and encourage the care of national parks and other places of natural beauty. We provided educational opportunities to learn about agriculture, keeping the environment clean and planting trees.  We actively participated in an Earth Summit and other similar workshops that promote sustainable environments and spiritually express the values of St. Francis who is the Patron Saint of Ecology.
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Advocacy: Our advocacy includes the care of all creation and considers both the common good and the careful use of resources.  We draw attention to destruction in our land and water sources and propose a more sustainable and respectful use of resources now and in the future.

Click here: Photos from the day of Environment in Brazil October 2012

Photos of the little ecologists in Romania May 2013

 

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