We are women who affirm our mission of unity of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God. Our mission is rooted in the mission of Jesus Christ the same mission which continually unfolds in the Church: “That all may be one, as you, Father are in me and I in you, I pray that they may be one in us.” (John 17:21) Through a profound and radical response to the Spirit, we fulfill this mission by searching out and undertaking whatever ministry may best bring about this unity. Moved by the love of the Spirit we commit ourselves to constant response to the ever changing needs of the world.
Death Penalty Statement (1999)
In keeping with our mission of unity and reconciliation, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania declare our opposition to the death penalty. We join with our sisters and brothers from around the world who have denounced the use of the death penalty as a deterrent for crime and who consider the death penalty as a violation of human rights.
We believe that every human life has an inherent dignity given by God. We reverence life from conception through death. We desire to stand in solidarity with Pope John Paul II and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who have clearly declared their opposition to the death penalty. We also recognize the need to reach out to victims and their families, to support them in their pain and loss, and to facilitate forgiveness and healing.
We are aware of the violence in our society and affirm that society has a need to protect itself from individuals who have proven to be dangerous. We believe, however, that addressing the roots of violence and incarceration properly applied, could effectively alter the cycle of violence. We join with our church and civic leaders in taking nonviolent actions for the elimination of state sanctioned death and to put forth every effort to recognize and affirm the dignity of each life.