Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
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The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul have served the poor since the founding of the congregation in 1861, when they began providing compassionate care to the orphaned and the aged. Over the past century, their work with the poor in Canada has evolved to meet the needs of the times and Sisters now do hands-on ministry in soup kitchens, clothing depots, prisons, schools and shelters for people in need. As well, the Sisters work in some of the poorest areas of Peru.

At the same time, the Sisters of Providence have felt compelled to work to overcome the root causes of poverty, in keeping with our mission statement of seeking to empower others, especially the poor and oppressed, to achieve a quality of life in keeping with their human dignity. In the early 1990s the congregation officially established a Justice and Peace office to identify and take nonviolent action on issues that affect the poor. That action includes being a voice that challenges all — from members of the congregation, to elected officials, to the general public — to become more aware of the impact our decisions have on all members of society.

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Enjoy the new Congregational and Ministry videos                   View all 12 videos online!


        


Climate change in Ontario?

Bridget Doherty takes a little rest during the People’s Climate Change March in New York City in October.

by Bridget Doherty

As part of a regular update to the Sisters of Service, who co-fund the Integrity of Creation position of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation team, Bridget Doherty gives an update on the work of energy poverty:

I have some exciting news! You may remember from previous reports that I’m on the Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) steering committee. In March of this year we organized a conference titled: Celebrating a Decade of Low-Income Energy Advocacy.

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by Tara Kainer

From Toronto to Vancouver, Chicago to California, Seoul, South Korea to Havana, Cuba and points in between, Jennifer Cockrall-King explores the future of food in Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution (Prometheus Books, 2012).

Speaking to an appreciative crowd at Writers’ Fest in Kingston this fall, the Edmonton-based writer used glorious photographs to demonstrate how food can be found growing in cities in surprising places and ways. Urban landscapes across the world contain lush community gardens and vibrant farmers’ markets; vegetable-laden patios, balconies, and rooftops; dumpsters and shipping containers overflowing with root vegetables; urban forests of nut and fruit trees; backyard chickens, urban wine crops, bee hives, and inner-city flocks of goats and sheep.

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Behind the peace pole: truth

by Sister Pauline Lally

In the midst of global tragedies and conflicts, we, Sisters of Providence, erected a simple white peace pole in front of the entrance to our Motherhouse this summer. It has black lettering. And there it stands in simple juxtaposition to the sufferings of the world.

The pole reads May Peace Prevail on Earth in four different languages. French is for our origins in France and Montreal. The Spanish is for our missions in Guatemala (now closed) and Peru. Cree represents our connections with First Nations in the West and in Northern Canada. Finally, English brings in all of us and our ministries in the rest of Canada.

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Richard Jack. The Second Battle of Ypres, 22 April to 25 May 1915. CWM 19710261-0161. Beaverbrook Collection of War Art. copyright Canadian War Museum

by Jamie Swift

Two oil paintings. Two artists who painted battlefield scenes. Two dramatically different ways of telling a story.

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Sister Mary Clare Stack OSU, Sister Jeannette Filthaut SP and Dr. Bob McKeon walking in the closing march of Truth and Reconciliation on a very cold March 30th day in Edmonton

 

by Sister Jeannette Filthaut

Listen to your heart * Listen to the Creator * As leaders, as women, we have to be strong to stand alone and we have to move forward * Go beyond the evil dark energy * Put your children close to your heart * If you don’t have an elder adopt one to learn from them
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But I’m Hungry

Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation staff member Tara Kainer’s first book of poetry was published in 2011 by Hidden Brook Press. She read this poem at the Put Food in the Budget inquiry into poverty in Ontario in September.

 

 

 

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by Bridget Doherty

Imagine you have two children. You work full time at the store down the road. Your husband is a cook at the local restaurant. When the bill for heating and lighting your home arrives, you receive quite a shock. The utilities cost more than the rent. You have to make a tough decision. Do you heat the home or feed the family? Not heating the home may result in child services knocking on your door.

Or you’re a senior citizen who has lived in the same house all your life. It’s a beautiful, but worn, brick home. Built at the turn of the century, there is not a stitch of insulation in the walls. You have always been a good saver and collect a pension. You’re on a fixed income and have learned to budget – but rising utility costs have meant that you’re dipping into your savings. Your income is relatively good but this cold winter has resulted in utility bills that have made you decide to keep the home much cooler than you would like. You are worried that the added sweaters have not adequately kept you warm and think it may be the home that is making you sick.

There are many citizens for whom these or similar scenarios are a reality. In Canada some 1 million people are affected by “energy poverty,” and the numbers are rising. View full article »

by Jamie Swift

thebigpush.net

The precariat? What’s that? The funny-sounding word has recently been creeping from university seminar rooms into public discussion. Precarious work + the proletariat = the “precariat.”

It refers to the decline of reliable, decently-paid work and the rise of part-time, temporary jobs that pay minimum wages.

Just before Christmas, veteran journalist Michael Valpy described the brave new world of work as a “fearsome cave of economic insecurity and the place where dignity and a sense of meaningfulness and self-worth are left at the door.”

Working at a full time, minimum wage job (if you can find one) in Ontario still leaves you well below the poverty line.

The JPIC Office is involved in several efforts to fix a world of work that is increasingly fractured, a community ever more sharply dividing between the rich and the rest. View full article »