Our membership in UNANIMA International has shown us the strength of women religious working together with ONE SPIRIT, ONE MISSION, ONE HOPE. We are grateful to be part of this collaborative endeavor and energizing network of social justice and work for systemic change in our world.
One of the six founding congregations of UNANIMA International, the Religious of Jesus and Mary have been members of this NGO Coalition of women’s congregations since 2002. The mission of the Coalition at the United Nations is to address the issues of:
- Women and children in conditions of poverty
- Immigrants and refugees
- Welfare of the planet
Today, the membership consists of 17 congregations of Roman Catholic sisters whose 17,500 constituents work in 72 countries around the world. UNANIMA brings the voices, concerns, and experiences of these women religious, as educators, health care providers, social workers and development workers, to the United Nations.
The Declaration of the RJM General Chapter in 2007 reflected both the impact and the challenge that membership in UNANIMA has effected in our congregation:
“In a world where human rights are trampled and natural resources are abused, we STAND WITH….WOMEN who have been used and exploited… DISPLACED PERSONS…DEFENSELESS CHILDREN, victims of abandonment, sexual trafficking and abuse …We want to work together in CARING FOR OUR EARTH and educating others in the responsible use of its resources…”
All over the world, our sisters are enfleshing these priorities through prayer, hands-on ministry, service in schools and missions, pastoral care and administrative leadership. Just a few examples:
- In VADODARA, India, sisters work to end trafficking in Palanpur, and address the HIV/AIDS incident in Gujarat.
- In BOLIVIA, sisters work with poor children and families, especially in the Altiplano.
- In HALOL, Gujarat, sisters have a residence for girls at risk from ages 5-18 and they give them a basic education in a safe environment.
- In our schools everywhere, children and families have environmental education to help them conserve the earth’s resources and reduce pollution.
- At the Casa Santa Clara in MEXICO CITY, our sisters direct a home for girls at risk from 6-18 years of age, and provide them with education and a safe environment. Sisters and FJM Associates operate a soup kitchen every day for poor children.