As a response to growing social justice issues, The Sisters of Saint Joseph formed a Social Action Committee in 1975. The 29-member committee defined its purpose as “the heightening of social consciousness, underscored by an awareness of those issues most in need of social action.” The newly formed Social Action Committee engaged in finding concrete ways that the SSJ’s could become involved and support the movements for justice happening in the wider community. On March 19, 1980 (the feast of Saint Joseph, the Commission for Justice established and provided direction for the congregational response affecting the greater communities in which they lived throughout the eighty’s, nineties, and two-thousands. In the Spring of 2022, the Justice Office expanded and has been rebranded the SSJ Center for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC). The Center will continue to work with the U.S. Federation, our present partners, and reach out to other groups.
We, Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia, commit to be joyful, courageous witnesses to the Gospel imperative of active, inclusive love. Informed by communal discernment and liberated by God’s Spirit, we move boldly into the future. Attentive to the urgent needs of Earth and of the global community. We will:
- Deepen and broaden our existing network of relationships while cultivating new, diverse, and inclusive partnerships.
- Create, implement, and evaluate collaborative congregational governance and decision-making processes that facilitate active participation, mutual empowerment, and accountability. Chapter 2019 Direction Statement
The Commission for Justice of the Sisters of Saint Joseph works to engage the total Congregation and Associate groups in issues that are relevant to our charism and mission. We provide social services for immigrants, along with victims of human trafficking, poverty, criminal justice, and those suffering from discrimination and iniquity In that spirit and united with every dear neighbor we grieve injustice in our world, support those that assemble in peaceful protest, pray for an end to violence, and unite ourselves with others to work to end racism. Just as our founders responded to the needs they saw around them in post-revolutionary France, the Sisters of Saint Joseph have continued to respond with mercy and compassion to inequalities and the needs of their time. The Sisters of Saint Joseph are “ready for any good work” with eyes open to seeing and addressing the needs of our dear neighbor.