In Illinois, Iowa and the Northwest, BVMs are engaged in works of justice, peace and charity.
8th Day Center for Justice, Chicago, is a coalition of Catholic, religious congregations. It acts as a critical alternative voice to oppressive systems and works actively to change those systems. Sister Gwen Farry is on staff; other BVMs work on various projects of education and advocacy.
Project IRENE (Illinois Religious Engaging in Nonviolent Endeavors), Berwyn and Springfield, is an initiative of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in Illinois. It promotes the welfare and empowerment of children and women by education and action, especially in the state legislative arena. They seek to make the cry of wounded children and women known, and impact systemic change. Sister Rose Mary Meyer is director.
Intercongregational Addictions Program of Education and Intervention (ICAP), River Forest, Illinois, assists sisters to get into recovery from addictions and supports those already in recovery by connecting them to each other and to resources. Sister Letitia Close is executive director; Sister Mary Gene Kinney is a counselor.
Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, Seattle, Washington, promotes just structures in the church and world, with a particular focus on the Pacific Northwest. IPJC is sponsored by 16 religious communities, including the BVMs, and collaborates with Catholic, ecumenical, interfaith and other organizations in carrying out this mission. Sister Theresa Caluori is on the Board of Directors.
Opening Doors, Inc., Dubuque, Iowa provides transitional housing for women and children and also emergency housing. Begun as a collaborative ministry of the religious communities in the Dubuque area, the programs of Maria House and Teresa Shelter give women a secure, stable environment to address their needs, pursue education and resume independent living. Sister Mary McCauley is on the Board of Directors.