The creation of the Justice Desk in 2016 was a new venture for three Presentation Provinces (North East and the South West Provinces (in Ireland) and the England Province). The collaboration part was about informing each other about their work for Justice, even if many of the Sisters in Ireland and England would already have known each other, irrespective of the province they were in.
A lot of the work for Justice that the Sisters undertake is a response to a need. As Director of this Justice Desk, Brian O’Toole provides the communication link between the Provinces and the International Presentation Association, a global network of Presentation Sisters which has NGO status at the United Nations.
A two-way correspondence between local concerns, campaigns and commitments, on the one hand, and the Global Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) agenda on the other is a vital dimension of the work of the Justice Desk.
I think that my job is to build the case for hope by doing it in action, by living out an active charism – it is not a passive charism – it is a charism that motivates, a charism that inspires, a charism that provokes and prompts and doesn’t sit still.
Brian sends out two newsletters a month from the Justice Desk, one about what they are involved in with Ireland and England. Then mid-month he send out a brief that comes from the International Presentation Association (IPA) with their news, as well as anything he is doing that is related to IPA work. Zoom has also offered tremendous online benefits, including showing each other’s work in a much more collaborative way.
There is a natural sense of community, and a sense of us all being in this together. The work is also about putting people in touch with each other, and about new opportunities all in service of moving our message ahead and bringing it to a wider audience or to a new ear, to somebody who might make a little bit of difference, or a little bit of noise or bring a new perspective to it.