JPIC Network – Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
Sylvania Franciscan Mission Statement: Called like Francis of Assisi to live the Gospel in joyful servanthood among all people, the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, as messengers of peace, commit themselves to works that reverence human dignity, embrace the poor and marginalized, and respect the gift of all creation
2012-2016 Peacemaking Initiative: We, the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, will focus both personally and communally, on study, reflection and action regarding the Franciscan call to peacemaking, care for the Earth and concern for the poor, in light of our Franciscan values.
With our Mission always before us, the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania strive to live out our Directional Statement and our Peacemaking Initiative, by joining the global family in work for social change through:
- The way we live
- Our prayer
- Our ministries
- Our advocacy efforts
The Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio have corporate stances on the following:
Beauty and Justice
St. Bonaventure defines justice as “restoring to beauty what has been deformed.” As Sylvania Franciscans, we believe that nature, the arts and culture, and the goodness around us nurture our souls and make us sensitive to the sufferings of our Mother Earth and her peoples. John Schramm once noted that he had difficulty in the mornings deciding whether to save the world or to savor the world. We seek to live that tension, always facing injustice head-on, naming it for what it is and working to end it, but also always attentive to the good, the true and the beautiful around us.
“Beauty does not stand alone in the universe, isolated and remote, under glass and precious for its rarity. Beauty is the bridge to justice. It’s the lost beauty of nature that warns us against pollution. It’s the beauty of a child’s face that brings us to see the ugliness of racism. It’s the beauty of life that brings us to rage against the injustice that obstructs it for anyone. Beauty is the glue that holds the world together.
To bring peace, to nurture hope, to wage justice, then, it is necessary to teach beauty or nothing is too valuable to be destroyed. We may well be spending far too much time teaching skills and productivity and efficiency and far too little time on music and art and poetry and flowers and literary appreciation. To raise a child well, we must seed a place in their souls for beauty. To build buildings that do not become ghettos, we must be willing to spend as much time on their beauty as we do on their function. Unless we make beauty the centerpiece of our lives, we are not really living, we are only breathing. If in this millennium we really want justice, we must learn to cultivate beauty.” Joan Chittister, OSB