Justice and Peace Ministries – Statements of Commitment
Climate Change Working Group
Laudato Sí – Statement of Commitment
We, Rochester Franciscan Sisters and Cojourners, recognize the great challenges of our Mother Earth and ask, “How can we be Silent?” Mother Alfred Moes tackled the needs of her day with conviction and determination that gives rise to our current and urgent call to respond to the cry of the earth and vulnerable communities.
Led by the Holy Spirit in prayer and service we, Sisters and Cojourners, commit ourselves to the Laudato Sí Action Platform and join in its seven-year journey to integral ecology. We seek to reverence all creation, promote sustainable lifestyles, and collaborate with other faith-based and civic agencies to advocate for systemic and structural change.
Laudato Sí is the second encyclical promulgated by Pope Francis in 2015. It was written in response to the environmental degradation of our planet causing climate migration, starving nations, global warming. There was concern regarding a lack of interest and action of the rich nations. Pope Francis calls upon all peoples of the world to take “swift and united global action.”
Laudato Sí Action Platform (LSAP) is the collaborative action response between the Vatican and Catholic dioceses and organizations, bringing together “all men and women of goodwill” to empower and take “decisive action here and now” to care for our common home.
Laudato Sí teaches us “everything is connected.” (LS 91) The relationship with our divine Creator has been neglected, human relationships have faltered, and our world has grown hotter, less stable, and more lifeless. As a result, we all suffer, and the poorest and most vulnerable suffer most of all. We face a complex crisis that is both social and environmental. (LS 139) We need to embark on new ways of living on the planet, caring for our brothers and sisters, the waters, soil, forests, and air the world over. The time is now!
Immigration Working Group
We, Rochester Franciscans, believe in the dignity of every person and have pledged to be a compassionate presence in our world of today. Thus, we see supporting immigration reform as a moral response to the problems faced by our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. The Build Back Better bill includes some help for them, but it does not go far enough. We call on our legislators to:
- Open up the DACA program for new applicants and grant DACA and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) recipients a pathway to citizenship.
- Recognize the service of farmworkers and essential workers who kept the country running during the pandemic, by also granting them a pathway to citizenship.
- Offer a plan for the 7 million undocumented persons who have lived here since 2011 and have paid taxes that would give them a pathway to citizenship and free them from the fear of deportation they face daily.
We commend and support the work of Catholic Charities in the resettlement of Afghan and other refugees.
The Immigration Working Group: Sisters Betty Kenny, Pat Himmer, Ruth Snyder, Lois Knipp, Mary Kay Mahowald, and Phyllis Sellner with Cojourners Kathy Johnson, Joanne Kellen, Joan Cordes, and Mary Doucette.