Justice & Peace

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Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (please call to schedule an appointment)
Location: Catholic Charities’ Main Office, 215 E Church St, Elmira, NY
Contact: Kathy at 607.734.9784, x2135

We collaborate with Catholic parishes, schools, and organizations, as well as community partners, to advocate for the poor and vulnerable and for national and global justice and peace in the public policy arena.

Our Mission is to foster a culture of life and love by addressing a wide spectrum of issues (local, state, national, and global) touching human life, human dignity, and human rights.

This mission is accomplished in three primary ways:

  • Advocating for public policy by analyzing and assessing current issues from the perspective of social Catholic teaching, and being a voice for the most vulnerable and needy in our society;
  • Identifying areas of concern within our local communities and convening partnerships that work together to address those concerns;
  • Providing leadership development, training, and support to area social ministries as they work on local, regional, and global missions.

Read the latest edition of our Justice and Peace Newsletter.

Climate Change 

All across the US, Catholic individuals, families, parishes, schools, hospitals, and organizations are taking the St. Francis of Assisi Pledge to Care for God’s Creation and the Poor…joining the Catholic Climate Covenant in response to climate change. Catholic Charities of Chemung & Schuyler, following the lead of our Bishop Emeritas, Matthew H. Clark, has signed on to the St. Francis of Assisi Pledge/Catholic Climate Covenant.

The Pledge is a promise and a commitment to live our faith by protecting God’s gifts of creation and advocating on behalf of people in poverty in our own communities and globally who face the harshest impacts of global climate change. We invite you to sign on to the Pledge, too. Contact us if you would like some ideas for action.

In his encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”) and his 2010 World Day of Peace message (“If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation”) and in numerous other speeches, Pope Benedict has called on Catholics and people of goodwill to care for creation, asking, “Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions?

Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of “environmental refugees”, people who are forced by the degradation of their natural habitat to forsake it?

Can we remain impassive in the face of actual and potential conflicts involving access to natural resources? All these are issues with a profound impact on the exercise of human rights, such as the right to life, food, health, and development.”

Catholic Charities of Chemung & Schuyler is committed to acting to reduce our “carbon footprint” and the ways we contribute to climate change by (some of these initiatives are already underway):

  • Stepping up our office-based recycling program
  • Conserving water
  • Conserving energy at all our service/program sites
  • Advocating for public policies that respond to the dangers of climate change, especially the impact on the poor
  • Encouraging staff to walk short distances rather than driving
  • Exploring how we might compost coffee grounds and other organic matter
  • Reducing our consumption of paper and paper products
  • Supporting Catholic Relief Services Fair Trade Program (coffee is shade-grown to save forests & the small-scale growers practice sustainable agriculture) – This coffee is available at our office on Church Street, Monday-Friday, 8:30a-4:30p. We also have hot chocolate, tea, and chocolate bars available.

FAIRTRADE builds the right relationships between buyers and sellers that are rooted in the principles of human dignity and solidarity.


  • Respects human dignity
  • Empowers disadvantaged people
  • Promotes the common good
  • Cultivates global solidarity
  • Advances economic justice
  • Connects us with the people who create the things we buy

To order online, visit Catholic Relief Services.

Key Principles of Catholic Social Teaching