Peacemaking / Nonviolence

In light of recent events, we wanted to share a statement by the Nuns Against Gun Violence Coalition condemning the most recent shooting in Jacksonville.*

*Our congregation is a member of this coalition whose mission is to promote gun violence prevention through prayer, education, and advocacy.

The recent increase in global, national and local violence, especially gun violence, has called for a response from concerned citizens and groups. Much of the violence has been caused by racial hatred and intolerance. In addition to holding a peace vigil in the face of this violence, we Sisters of St. Joseph have joined the voices of numerous organizations in condemning it, and lobbied our legislators for gun reform.   

October 24th 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. To recognize the occasion, LCWR joined Pax Christi International in a statement calling on UN member states to renew their commitment for an enhanced UN system. Read the statement in our anti-violence statements below.

On August 6 and 9, 2020, we marked 75 years since the United States conducted nuclear attacks against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, devastating their populations and destroying their infrastructure. The production and testing of nuclear weapons in the United States and internationally continues to harm the health, environment, and cultures of communities around the world. Our statement issued in 1984 regarding nuclear arms is just as relevant today as it was then. Read the statement in our anti-violence statements below.

August 2019 U.S. Federation Calls for End to Gun Violence

In 2019, The Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston U.S. Federation called for an end to gun violence in a statement available below. 

Anti Violence Statements

Click below to read CSJ’s corporate stance on nuclear arms, The Sisters of St. Joseph’s federation statement on gun violence, and the statement LCWR issued with Pax Christi to the UN.

CSJ Corporate Stance on Nuclear Arms (1984)

The first corporate stance taken by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston is specifically entitled “On Nuclear Arms.” While this focus continues to address a clear and present global issue, the statement itself focuses more broadly on peacemaking in its varied dimensions (as in the selection below), and on reconciliation. Our charism of unity and reconciliation is manifested in nonviolence and peacemaking, in seeking justice for the poor and marginalized, and in advocacy for systemic change.

We, the women of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, take this stand regarding nuclear arms:

  • We lament the reality of nuclear weapons.
  • We recognize the sinful situation, which enables their existence.
  • We condemn the creation of any first-strike weapon.
  • We believe, nevertheless, that this situation is already a redeemed one.
  • We deplore the cruel results of the proliferation of nuclear arms.
  • We grieve the suffering of those countless women, men and even children who at this very moment are hungry.
  • We sorrow with those persons, especially the young, who endure ever increasing anxiety and who move to hopelessness and despair.
  • We sorrow with those who are deprived of beauty and art and all good gifts that lift the human spirit to that supreme Beauty “ever ancient and ever new.”
  • We believe, nevertheless, that the power of good is stronger than the force of evil.

We resolve, then, not from fear of death, but from love of life, to focus our energies more intensely on peace-making:

  • by confronting the demon of world hunger,
  • by protesting a national prodigality that denies justice to the poor,
  • by seeking relentlessly forms of systemic change,
  • by making peace studies an essential component of our educational system,
  • by being steadfast in the process of inner conversion,
  • by remaining faithful to the task of reconciliation and to non-violence.

By the grace of God we determine

  • to bend swords into ploughs,
  • to remodel spears into pruning hooks,
  • to reshape instruments of death into instruments of life, to turn the mushroom cloud into a rainbow of justice and peace.
Sisters of St. Joseph U.S. Federation Stance on Gun Violence (2019)

In August 2019, the U.S. Federation issued a statement sharing the following words:

As Sisters of St. Joseph, we share in the communal heartbreak of our nation in the face of unthinkable violence. The recent mass shootings in our country impel us to once again demand that all citizens and elected leaders end the rage and division that all too often results in mass, indiscriminate violence.

LCWR + Pax Christi Statement to the UN (2020)

In 2020, LCWR joined Pax Christi International in a statement calling on UN member states to renew their commitment for an enhanced UN system by:

Supporting the Secretary-General’s prioritization of conflict prevention and sustaining peace, as part of the restructuring of the UN peace and security pillar, by contributing to the work in the field of addressing root causes, peacemaking, mediation, peacekeeping and post-conflict efforts.

Exploring, choosing, and implementing nonviolent approaches to resolving disputes that endanger international peace and security, amongst others on the basis of Article 33 of the UN Charter. Considering nonviolent strategies as the first option in response to violent or potentially violent societal challenges, instead of resorting to military action that risks further aggravating a situation.

Increasing budgets for the functioning of the UN and in particular for the achievement of the SDGs by 2030 and for tackling the COVID-19 health crisis among vulnerable populations. Shifting funds to SDG budgets and away from global military spending, which saw last year the largest annual increase in a decade reaching $1917 billion.

Signing and subsequently ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted in 2017 at the UN in New York, or if already done so, to encourage other countries to also sign and ratify the treaty. Fully implementing the treaty once it enters into force, which will be 90 days after the 50th ratification (to date: 47 ratifications), including its provisions on victim assistance and environmental remediation.

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