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Featuring the RJM

The Religious of Jesus and Mary [RJM], one of the six founding congregations of UNANIMA International, have been members since 2002.  We are an international apostolic congregation of 1200+ sisters in 16 provinces and two delegations [Africa/Peru], with general headquarters in Rome, Italy.  Our sisters and associates, the Family of Jesus and Mary [FJM] are present in twenty-eight countries.

Since 1971, the US province has sponsored and directed QUEST, a project of volunteer-communities in service to the poor. In recent years QUEST has served as the volunteer project for Haiti and the RJM ministry there. Today, the community of six RJM is international and we have ministry sites in Port-au-Prince and Jean Rabel as well as Gros Morne. As of 2010, there are 98 RJM in the US.

The Declaration of our General Chapter in 2007 reflected both the impact and the challenge that membership in UNANIMA has effected in the congregation: “In a world where human rights are trampled and natural resources are abused, we STAND WITH . . . WOMEN who have been used and exploited. . . DISPLACED PERSONS. . . DEFENSELESS CHILDREN, victims of abandonment, sexual trafficking and abuse. . . We want to work together in CARING FOR OUR EARTH and educating others in the responsible use of its resources. . .”

Here are a few examples of how our sisters all over the world are enfleshing these priorities:

  • In VADODARA, India: sisters are working to bring an end to trafficking in Palanpur, and are addressing the HIV/AIDS incidence in Gujarat.
  • In HALOL, Gujarat, India, the sisters have a residence for girls at risk from age 5-18. The girls get a basic education in a safe environment away from abusive situations.
  • In our schools everywhere, children and families are having environmental education to help them to conserve the earth’s resources and reduce pollution.
  • In BOLIVIA, sisters work with poor children and families, especially in the Altiplano. One of the sisters has attended courses on anti-mining and is educating the families in the parish.
  • In MEXICO, sisters and the Family of Jesus and Mary Associates are active in ministering to poor children and are engaged in human rights advocacy.

One of the greatest supports for all the congregational efforts in these areas has been the interest and prayer of our senior sisters.

We are looking forward to planning and organizing our response to the WATER campaign of UI, possibly with other provinces.

Contributed by Janice Farnham, RJM.