SOCIAL ACTION MINISTRIES
“WE COMMIT OURSELVES AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A CONGREGATION TO WORK FOR JUSTICE WITHIN THE HUMAN FAMILY . . .”
These words of the CHM Mission statement have a long history as guiding principles for the community. From its beginning in Napoleonic France, their founder, Fr. John Joseph Begel, inspired a commitment to peace and justice and a priority of non-violence, including protest when appropriate.
As the community established itself in the United States, compassion and action continued to go hand in hand:
- compassion for individuals caught in unjust conditions and
- action to change the cultural, religious or political policies that create injustice
A VOICE FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
From the early days of the Civil Rights and farm worker movements, CHMs have followed their founder’s example to stand publicly against exploitation and injustice.
- Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc., offering shelter and meals to the homeless along with computer and job training, a food pantry, counseling – and hope.
- Humility of Mary Housing, Inc., Davenport, Iowa –through the financial and staff support of the Sisters of Humility and the community, inner city apartments have been rehabilitated for use by homeless, single-parent families struggling with poverty, pregnancy and lack of education. Social service support and education programs assist the families until they are able to be self-sufficient.
- working to end hunger and thirst through programs like the Heifer Project and the Sister Water Project
- promoting the end of the death penalty
- Care of Earth
- praying for peace, marching against war, protesting the School of the Americas
- Subscribing to the Action Alert Digest from the Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking is an important tool for awareness and taking action.
- A few blocks away, CHMs and their associates volunteer at Cafe on Vine soup kitchen.
- The Munoz sisters – Sr. Irene in Ottumwa, Iowa and – are pioneers in ministry to migrant families. Since the 1960’s they have been leading advocates for keeping migrant families together and ensuring that each family has the resources necessary to provide stable homes for their children.
CONCERN FOR CHILDREN
As early as 1896 the Sisters of Humility established St. Vincent’s Home in Davenport as a safe haven for orphans and children whose parents were unable to care for them. By the time it closed thousands of children had found solace, warmth, food – and a substitute mother’s love – in the Lissie and Sister Janelle with packages of their gourmet dog treats.compassion of the sisters.
Their work continues in CHMs like Sr. Lynn Mousel - a child psychiatrist. And Sr. Johnelle Howanach who found herself, in 1988, the foster mother of a 6-year old Native American girl disabled from birth with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Although, told that the child was uneducable, Sr. Johnelle’s tutelage and love has allowed ‘Lissie” to grow into a confident young woman, founder of a Lissie's Luv Yums and national speaker on FAS.
Lissie's Luv Yums from Ashley Korslien on Vimeo.
"PROMOTE NON-VIOLENCE AS A WAY OF LIFE TO BRING ABOUT JUSTICE FOR ALL PERSONS AND CREATION."