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Social justice

You are invited to share in the Sisters of Providence quest for peace and justice. We have a mission of being God’s Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people. Through Congregational decisions, individual ministry and within our own spiritual lives, we continue to strive for peace and justice. Won’t you join us?

“Yes above all things; justice, justice. If any preference may be shown let it be to the poorest or most abandoned.”

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin

We strive to live out these words for the good of all of God’s people and you can too. Please join us in supporting these justice issues.

Climate Change

Why is this important?

In his encyclical letter, Laudato Si, Pope Francis addresses the importance of the care of our common home.” He appeals to the Church, “Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Particular appreciations is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet …”

At the end, he says, “In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God …”

“As women religious whose mission and legacy it is to honor Divine Providence and to further God’s loving plans by devoting ourselves to works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people, we (the Sisters of Providence) have come to see that mission as extending to interrelationships with all of creation within the entire web of life.” – SP Land Ethic, 2013.

During our 2016 General Chapter, in collaboration with our Providence Associates, we chose environmental justice as an important issue.

Wish to join us? Learn more and pledge with us to reduce carbon emissions!

Human Trafficking

Why is this important

You can partner with us to help end human trafficking. We seek to end this criminal and highly profitable assault on human dignity that especially, but not exclusively, impacts women and children. In collaboration with other organizations, we continue education and advocacy, especially through our investments and choice of hotels with which we do business.

Read our recent statement regarding the death penalty.

Criminal Justice Reform

Why is this important?

Don’t you agree that everyone deserves the right to life? We have a history of ministry to persons in prison, including persons on death row. We have witnessed injustice of racial bias and many other facets that make our current system a broken one. We advocate for a judicial system that builds safe communities and focuses on restoration and rehabilitation for the sake of both victims and perpetrators.


Why is this important?

Stand with us to end unjust treatment of all people. We minister with immigrant families and our commitment to nonviolence makes outdated immigration policy a significant concern and a compelling call to action.

“What we seek is immigration reform that reflects the best of our values as a nation, and helps to build stronger, more welcoming communities.” – Sisters of Providence Leadership Team, 2014

Introducing the Justice Coordinating Commission!

A message from Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp

The Justice Coordinating Commission (JCC) is an “umbrella” group composed of Sisters of Providence, Providence Associates, and others who have actively worked with us to address justice issues. The group, which builds on works of previous justice committees, is charged with focusing the justice issues for our Congregation. The group began meeting in 2016 to organize its work around a focus on environmental justice in the coming five years.

We have identified four sub-focus areas in dire need of attention: Climate change, water, food supply/food security, and migrant workers. Faithful to past work on our Congregation, the JCC has suggested these areas be addressed through the lens of three filters: Racism, women and children, and investments.

Current members include Providence Associates Marsha McCarty, Jeanne Rewa and Susan Weber; and Sisters of Providence Kathleen Desautels, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Tracey Horan, Rosemary Schmalz, Barbara Sheehan, Rosemary Ward and Barbara Battista.

Our work with 8th Day Center for Justice

8th Day Center for Justice friends, including Sister Kathleen Desautels (center) at the SOAWatch Border Convergence in 2016.

8th Day Center for Justice was a non-profit organization with staff offices in Chicago. It was named after the Christian belief that all of life is in the 8th day of creation bringing all to full justice.

8th Day was founded in 1974 by six Catholic religious congregations of women and men. At the time of its closure, more than 35 sponsoring congregations, as well as other partners, supported 8th Day’s commitment to act as a critical alternative voice to oppressive systems and to work actively to change those systems. The Sisters of Providence were one of the founding congregations.

Sadly, 8th Day Center announced its closing in September 2018.

8th Day envisioned a world of right relationships in which all creation is seen as sacred and interconnected. Its mission was guided by the principles of non-violence, cooperation and mutuality with Earth and among all people regardless of ethnicity, religion, cultural background, gender, socio-economic class, or sexual orientation.

The center lived out its mission through efforts of education, advocacy, organizing and non-violet direct actions. It held the right of conscience to dissent against oppressive structures in society and actively responded to emerging critical needs of the time.

8th Day Center’s internal organizing structure operated in a circular model of decision-making, as all roles and responsibilities were distributed in a non-hierarchical manner among the full-time staff.

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