Social Justice

In St. Francis’ Italy, the poor and the sick were ignored by the wealthy, Muslims were considered enemies, there was constant war, and greed and corruption caused great suffering.

Francis abandoned his wealth, lived as one of the poor, preached the Gospel to a Sultan in Egypt and then encouraged his followers to live among Muslims. Francis’ belief that all people and the earth’s resources are brother and sister and the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church guide our Social Justice Ministry.

“The future of the planet and the human race depends on these little creatures who help to pollinate so many food products for all God’s living creatures”
– Sister Jeanne Karp -


What started as a 3-pound package of 10,000 bees and a queen is now four hives that helps the species recover from recent devastating losses.

Sister Jeanne’s dedication to preserving nature is just the latest in a long history of our Care of Creation. The work we did at Alverna Heights had a significant impact on the environment in central New York. We planted and managed 10 acres of native grasslands and successfully attracted native birds such as red-winged blackbirds and red-tailed hawks. The environmentally restored land now is part of New York State’s Green Lakes Park providing watersheds and an important environmental buffer.

Keeping honey bees may be Sister Jeanne Karp’s hobby but it’s important for the environment.


We have taken a corporate stand against human trafficking, pledging to educate ourselves and others about this modern-day form of slavery.

Our community has joined with other religious orders to advocate for services to help trafficking victims recover and for harsh sentences against traffickers.


A basic Franciscan value is that of hospitality and God’s call to welcome the stranger.

Our sisters work with non-profit programs that provide temporary housing and legal assistance to individuals and families seeking asylum; we provide low-cost and free legal services to those seeking U.S. citizenship; and we teach English as a Second Language to help those new to our country acclimate to their new culture and find jobs to support themselves and their families.