Social justice promoters from congregations of women religious gathered at River’s Edge Retreat Center in Cleveland, Ohio for the first-ever national convocation.

Sister Julie Driscoll and Sister Paris Slapikas, of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, along with SCN Director of Global Ministries Joetta Venneman, PBVM joined over 150 participants representing more than 100 congregations from 26 states and one Canadian province at “Entering the Transforming Future: Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Ministry in the Coming Age of Religious Life.”

The justice promoters met to strengthen their work on critical global and national issues. They shared innovative strategies and best practices to respond more effectively to issues that affect the lives of people and the planet. The justice promoters also established a network for intentional collaboration and to share prayer, education and action resources.

The convocation also featured eight “Transformation Talks” prepared by participants. These TED-style talks shared insights into specific social justice topics, built social media skills, and reflected on the spirituality underlying action for justice.

“What a wonderful opportunity this has been,” said Ann Scholz, SSND, Associate Director for Social Mission for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. “Women religious take seriously the Gospel call to stand with those who are marginalized and forgotten and we have a long and rich tradition of advocating for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. We remain faithful to the call to transform structures that oppress and to build the reign of God.”

“While the future is unknowable, the fact that these Sisters and those who represent them remain deeply committed to justice, transformation and collaboration is a sign of hope for all.” said Ann Oestreich, IHM, co-chair of the Convocation.

When asked what was the most important insight from the Convocation, Sister Joetta commented, ““Experiencing the deep rooted love that springs from passion from so many hungering to transform our world was uplifting and hopeful.”

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