500 Days to meet the MDGs!

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The 500 day countdown is NOW.

For those of you keeping up with the latest news at the United Nations, you may already know that the Secretary-General recently released a statement marking last week as the 500 day mark for the conclusion of the MDGs. For those who are unfamiliar with the MDGs, you are reading the right blog as we are going to explore what they are, how they came to be, and the progress that our world has made since its establishment in the year 2000.

The Millennium Development Goals also referred to as MDGs are a set of eight time-bound goals, which are geared toward “reducing income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and exclusion–while promoting gender equality, health education, and environmental sustainability.” They initiated in the year 2000 and are to be completed by 2015.

Here is a summary of the eight MDGs:
1) Eradicate extreme poverty & hunger
2) Achieve universal primary education
3) Promote gender equality and empower women
4) Reduce child mortality
5) Improve maternal health
6) Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7) Ensure environmental sustainability
8) Develop a global partnership for development

These goals and the world’s progress on achieving them before the 2015 conclusion date can be further explored on the UN website with the following link: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

So why? Why were the MDGs established? And what does this have to do with justice and the Sisters and us??

When I think of the Sisters and their mission for justice, I sometimes smile in awe at how ahead of the game they were when their order was first established in Le Puy, France in 1650. It is 2014 and the Sisters are still ahead of the game. When the congregation was first established, their mission was to serve the underserved, heal where it was broken, and strive for justice where there was injustice. The concept of making a more just and peaceful world for all humanity without distinction, is what drove them to walk the streets of France even during the harsh circumstances of 17th century France. They always knew that poverty, hunger, disease, exclusion, inadequate shelter, and gender equality among many other social issues needed to be addressed and tended to….So they took action…

See the connection?

Just as the Sisters recognized that what affects one person affects the entire world, the UN came to this same realization. In the late 90s and early 2000s, the UN recognized that issues like poverty, universal education, health, disease, and environmental sustainability, among many others continued to plague nations, societies, and the global environment. As result of this, it was determined that the global community needed to act and needed to act NOW. Almost 15 years later since the development of the MDGs and our world has made tremendous progress, but much still needs to be done!

We ALL have a part in making OUR earthly home better. WE are the key to a more just and peaceful world.

Stay tuned for more UN news!

In Peace,
Jackie, SJW Justice Program Assistant

Living the Mission

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It’s another wonderful day here in St. Paul, but a new member to the province and to the office now stands in the footprints of all the wonderful women who dedicated a year of service as Saint Joseph Workers here in the Justice Office.

Hello bloggers, my name is Jacqueline Salas, and I am a 2014-2015 Saint Joseph Worker (SJW). I will be spending my year of service as the CSJ Justice Program Assistant. I can’t express enough at how thrilled I am to be placed here, and I am looking forward to being a part of this community that strives to create a more just and peaceful world.

Guam, a small island in the Pacific is where I call home, but I have spent the past four years in Weston, MA where I attended Regis College, graduating this past May with a double major in Chemistry and International Relations.

How did a girl from Guam end up in the Twin Cities?

This is the million dollar question that usually comes up when I share my story. I can spend a whole day writing multiple blogs that tell it, but if one word could sum up everything that I have to share, it would be mission.

Regis College is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. The mission of the college is reflective of the mission of the Congregation of Saint Joseph (CSJ)—“to move always toward profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction.”

The mission. This is why I am here.

My four years at Regis have laid the foundation for the ways in which I want to live my life. This was inspired through my experiences on service, solidarity, and cultural immersion trips, through the community and home that I found at Regis, and through the relationships that I have formed with the sisters. The mission made all of the above possible. It is what moves the institution to be all that it is. It is what moves the people to be who they are. It is what moves me.

I knew that after graduating I wanted to further explore this call to live the mission of the CSJs, striving for a more just and more peaceful world. When I came across the SJW Program brochure, I knew it God’s way of showing me how I could do so.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates are sponsors of the SJW Program and their mission IS the foundation of which the program is built on—“In the spirit of the Gospel, we work toward right relationships with God, persons, and Earth. We strive to foster the common good through advocacy, creative arts, education, healthcare, social service, and spirituality.”

I am so blessed to have found my way back to a community that is united in mission, in spirit, and in God’s great love.

In Peace,
Jackie Salas, CSJ Justice Office Program Assistant