Our sisters taking action

Following in the footprints of St. Francis of Assisi who lived his life according to the pattern of the holy Gospel, we likewise strive to follow that same way of life as we recognize Christ in our brothers and sisters. This is made visible in a variety of ways by sisters who are involved in issues that plague our society today. To facilitate our involvement, we have formed the Peace and Justice Committee.

Peace and Justice Committee

The mission of the Peace and Justice Committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities is to educate the community, raise awareness of social issues and guide the community into appropriate action.

Our affiliations

Our connection and affiliation with various organizations locally and globally brings our attention to the many needs of our society and how we as a congregation or individually can address them.

Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is described in its website as a grassroots, faith-based civic engagement organization with a growing national base of organizations and persons who are inspired by the witness and example of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi. The Franciscan Action Network is designed to bring a coordinated and effective voice to matters of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation in our world.

Our congregation was one of the original initiators of FAN and continues to be involved.

Learn more about the Franciscan Action Network. >

Take Action: The St. Francis Pledge
The Franciscan Action Network invites you to take the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor. The pledge is a commitment of faith in action by caring for God’s creation and being a voice for the people who face the harshest impacts of climate change.

I/We pledge to

  • PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God’s Creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.
  • LEARN about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change.
  • ASSESS how we-as individuals and in our families, parishes and other affiliations-contribute to climate change by our own energy use, consumption, waste, etc.
  • ACT to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change.
  • ADVOCATE for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable.
This nationwide Christian organization addresses global hunger and poverty. As a congregation we participate in the annual Offering of Letters, a letter-writing campaign. Sisters, Franciscan associates and many others take responsibility to write to their legislators for the purpose of ending hunger for all peoples of the world. Find out how you too can do your part to end hunger.

Learn more about Bread of the World. >

ICCR is an association of faith-based institutional investors. It helps members use their investments to advocate for social concerns and it collaborates with investment managers to promote socially responsible investing.

In our effort towards wise stewardship of our resources we use socially responsible strategies that seek to avoid participation in harmful activities while actively pursuing good and using our role as stockholders for social stewardship. Our membership in ICCR assists us in this effort.

Learn more about Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. >

Socially Responsible Investing
As Franciscan women religious we are committed to exercise faithful, competent and socially responsible stewardship in the management of our financial resources. We have relied on the statement of the U.S. Bishops on socially responsible investing and also on our congregational membership in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility to create and maintain our investment policy.

This policy is guided by two principals

  • We must exercise wise stewardship over our resources.
  • We must exercise ethical and socially responsible stewardship based on Gospel values.

These principals are applied

  • We screen companies to invest in those that exhibit a respect for life, recognize the dignity of all persons, have just labor practices both nationally and internationally, care for the environment and promote a culture of nonviolence. We avoid investing those that exhibit a strong disregard for these values.
  • We seek to influence corporations by share holder activism to improve corporate behavior consistent with this policy.
  • We do social investments which support organizations and communities helping the poor.
Franciscans International is a non-governmental organization that has consultative status at the United Nations. It is a network of Franciscans collaborating on world issues and a forum for the poor and most vulnerable to have a voice.

Learn more about Franciscans International.
Network is defined as a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby organization that educates, lobbies and organizes to influence the formation of federal legislation to promote economic and social justice. Based in Washington, D.C. this group, founded in 1972 by 47 Catholic sisters, now has more than 100,000 members. Network uses lobbying and legislative action as avenues to greater justice and peace. Their site provides educational resources as well as ways to take action on priority issues and current legislation under consideration.

Learn more about Network. >

This national Christian group strives to create a world that reflects the Peace of Christ by exploring, articulating, and witnessing to the call of Christian nonviolence. It promotes nonviolence and seeks to transform structures of society toward peace and away from war. Pax Christi works with its members and cooperates with other groups in working toward a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Learn more about Pax Christi USA. >

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is the official organization of the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. It is a canonical entity governing the church, and a public policy arm. The USCCB connects us to the larger church and keeps us informed as to the current issues being dealt with by and in the church as well as decisions from this body.

Learn more about USCCB. >

Vive, Inc. is a nonprofit humanitarian refugee organization in Buffalo, N.Y. that provides shelter, food and legal assistance to world refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. or Canada. It was begun in 1984 by members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y. as a response to refugees coming from Central and South America. Over the years, our sisters have served on the board or been on staff working directly with the refugees.

Learn more about Vive, Inc. >

One way we make visible our efforts of peace and justice is by designating our grounds as a peace site. We strive to live out this commitment through the peace actions of the International Peace Sites: seek peace within yourself and others; reach out in service; protect the environment; promote intercultural understanding and celebrate diversity and be a responsible citizen of the world. We have peace sites in New York and in Pennsylvania.