We are part of a changed and changing world …
Our mission is to speak and act
in partnership with others
for global justice
from a contemplative stance
in a spirit of oneness
with the whole of creation.
2017 IPA Assembly
Our Vision as IPA is: “A World in which the oneness and sacredness of all life is honoured”.
The content of this article is an extract from an original article that appeared in the Summer 2020 Issue of our Province Magazine – Bachloga. It evolved during phone conversations with Sr. Ann Marie Quinn, pbvm Executive Director of the International Presentation Association (IPA). At the time, Ann Marie was working from her Community House in Warrenmount, Dublin 8. She had returned earlier than anticipated from New York, due to the rapid development of COVID-19 pandemic.
A Presentation presence at the UN
In September 2018, Ann Marie took up what was then a new post of Executive Director of the International Presentation Association (IPA). The creation of this post arose out of the IPA Assembly (2017) Commitment 2: ‘to determine an appropriate organisational structure for IPA to achieve its mission’.
One of the first undertakings for the IPA Board of Directors and IPA team was to honour Commitment 5 of the IPA Assembly, namely ‘to develop a strategic plan for IPA’. This work resulted in ‘Education and Action for Justice 2020 – 2022 Strategy’. (Note: Presentation Communities have received a copy of this document, and your Community Justice Links have a digital version for sharing).
Networking and partnership-building for collaboration are also important elements of Ann Marie’s brief as Executive Director; to these she is no stranger, given her past experiences of ministry. (Ann Marie celebrated 50 years as a Presentation Sister in 2018.) The only difference now is that the span of the work is from local to global and global to local, and takes place across countries, continents and cultures, within a common partnership in mission: ‘to speak and act in partnership with others for global justice from a contemplative stance in a spirit of oneness with the whole of creation’. The move to working online, necessitated by the pandemic, also tapped Ann Marie’s experience from the foundation days of iScoil as a means of online learning.
We are all living now in a changed and changing world as we live together in solidarity locally and globally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The inequalities and vulnerabilities of the least in our societies have never been more evident. But they cannot all be blamed on Covid -19.
In the Justice for All report released last year, the Task Force on Justice noted that 1.5 billion people had a justice problem that they could not resolve. Now, as well as before the pandemic, marginalized communities – already poorly served by systems that are not just – face the highest risks, as do vulnerable groups. The pandemic is widening this justice gap, with the problems that many people face increasing sharply and the ability of justice actors to respond declining.
In the current Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, Justice in a Pandemic – April 2020,1 the foreword states:
“Justice Systems are vital to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating its worst effects. A new briefing by the Taskforce on Justice, co-chaired by Hina Jilani calls for urgent action to ensure justice for all in this public health emergency”. In her foreword she states:
“For better or for worse, justice systems and justice workers are on the frontline of this pandemic. If we get our response right, societies will be better able to confront the pandemic effectively and fairly. That will build the foundations for reset and recovery. If we get it wrong, it is no exaggeration to say that people will die unnecessarily”. (see HERE – Report: Justice In A Pandemic )
As the world continues to focus on how to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis is beginning to think about how to “resurrect” humanity when it’s all over, saying he hopes people will have the “necessary antibodies of justice, charity and solidarity”.*
In the words of Pope Francis:
“This is not a time for indifference, because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic. May these, the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters living in the cities and peripheries of every part of the world, not be abandoned”. Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi – Easter Sunday 12th April, 2020 – Rome. (see HERE)
These are questions for all of us.
Notes: 1The Pathfinders are a group of 33 UN member states, international organisations, global partnerships, civil society and the private sector. They work to accelerate action to implement the SDG targets for peace, justice and inclusion (SDG16+). In September 2017, the Pathfinders launched the Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. An updated version was published at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2019.
*(These words were published April 17 by Spanish magazine Vida Nueva in a meditation titled “Un plan para resucitar” – “A plan to resurrect.” Much of the text is a meditation on the women who went to the tomb of Christ after the resurrection and had their sorrow turned into joy upon witnessing Christ’s victory over death (see link to article HERE).
To find out more about the International Presentation Association (IPA) see http://internationalpresentationassociation.org/.