In Section 14 of the Rules and Constitutions of the Sisters of the Holy Names, we read, “We are challenged by the Gospel and by the needs of our society to unite our efforts with those around us to attain for all people conditions of life more equitable and more worthy of human dignity.” Traditionally, we did that through education, especially of young women. Since Vatican II, we Sisters have taken a broader approach leading us to develop Corporate Stands, which help focus our energy on the problems of the day outside the classroom in addition to continuing our work in education.
Our very first Corporate Stand was one against trafficking in women and children. We work with numerous other groups to eradicate this scourge on society. In addition to working locally, the Sisters work through an NGO (UNANIMA International) at the United Nations to prevent trafficking and to develop alternatives for women and children who are in danger of being trafficked. We have been doing this work since 2004.
In 2008, we adopted a Corporate Stand supporting water as a human right and public good. All people, everywhere, need access to clean water. Therefore, the Sisters and their affiliates work to ensure universal access to clean and affordable water for all people. We also work to implement the objectives of the UN Millennium Goals on water. Third, is the work to protect freshwater as a sustainable, renewable resource.
Most recently, in 2017, the Sisters adopted a Corporate Stand on migrants and refugees. As a result, we call for all nations to enforce the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all migrants and refugees throughout the world. In practical terms, this means that the Sisters of the Holy Names will work to establish welcoming communities for migrants and refugees. Also, we will work to improve the situation of migrants and refugees.
For additional information, you may wish to consult our Congregational website, www.snjm.org or our Province website, www.snjmuson.org. Also, the website of the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, www.ipjc.org provides many resources about these issues. The Sisters of the Holy Names are one of the sponsoring communities of IPJC.