JPIC Coordinator – Sr. Laetitia Bordes is the justice, peace, and integrity of creation coordinator for the U.S. Province, also known as “JPIC Coordinator”. Sr. Laetitia is responsible for being aware of social issues that are happening in the United States and the world. Of course, there are so many large social issues, how can one choose? Sr. Laetitia says that she networks with other groups and then decides on issues where the Helpers can respond in the light of their own charism. She believes that it is important for the Helpers to respond and protect those whose integrity of creation is threatened.
Sr. Laetitia is the only Helper who lives in the West Coast, in the Northern part of California. Her ministry, being the JPIC Coordinator, is something that she cherishes because she has always had a real thirst for justice. Sr. Laetitia spent 10 years in El Salvador where she saw people suffer in great measure. When she returned to the United States from El Salvador, she continued her work by being an ESL teacher for 20 years. Throughout her time in California, she has always been heavily involved with the immigrant community. She works with the “Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity”, where she participates in a vigil every month in front of ICE. This vigil is filled with people from different communities – religions, ethnicities, races, genders – all standing in solidarity for something they believe is a problem. Over the years, Laetitia has stood on the street for many causes. During the war in Iraq, Sr. Laetitia would stand on “El Camino” every Thursday to promote peace rather than warfare. Before COVID-19 hit, for 12 years, she would be with a group of seven, holding a banner that reminded others why they were there (pictured below). Sr. Laetitia says, “…there is something about standing there, at least you know you are doing something to make a change. Every week, at the same time, knowing you are a part of making things happen”.
Sr. Laetitia says that working with the JPIC national network, she never feels alone. Sometimes doing peace and justice work can be discouraging or draining, but she finds her resilience from the people within the network. Then there are glimpses of the beautiful and good things that happen, which help remind her that the work she is a part of is important. Sr. Laetitia and the Helpers are about vocation. She refers back to a quote by the Helpers’ Foundress, “Help in all manner of good”. The Helpers have no limitations on what they are all called to do. They go where they are needed.