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Loyola’s Sr. Jane Remson aids the fight against world hunger

Loyola press release - July 15, 2008

Sister Jane Remson, director of the New Orleans Chapter of Bread for the World (BFW), has devoted much of her life to activism in researching and fighting world hunger.

For the past 28 years, she has served as the director of the New Orleans Chapter of BFW at the Twomey Center for Peace through Justice at Loyola University New Orleans. Since her arrival, she has guided many local programs to raise hunger awareness including the annual “Walk for the Hungry,” a four-mile walking pilgrimage against hunger.

In 1999, she founded the Carmelite Non-Government Organization (NGO) within the United Nations and continues to serve today as its top representative. Serving in this capacity has given Remson a chance to extend her focus globally. In June 2007, she traveled to Indonesia to learn how deforestation has affected hunger in that country. She has also recently traveled to Kenya to visit the U.N. headquarters and meet with officials to discuss how climate change affects world hunger.

Remson has traversed the world to deliver aid to countries suffering from natural disasters. In 2004, she and other Carmelites traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia to bring aid to tsunami victims. While there, they met with clergy, religious and laity persons to plan ways for groups to help. They also brought in donations of $201,525.00 to help rebuild farmland and to help with the purchase of fishing nets.

Closer to home, Remson is devoted to the reformation of the U.S. farm bill. “Bread for the World is lobbying the U.S. Congress to support a farm bill that provides nutritious and adequate food at home, and does not harm family farms or undermine the economy of developing countries because of subsidies that favor large corporate farm interests,” said Remson.

Most recently, she returned from Washington where she attended the meeting of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change that discussed the connection between climate and agriculture. She is currently preparing for a trip to Paris on Sept. 3-5, for the United Nations Conference “Affirming Human Rights: The Universal Declaration on Human Rights at 60.”

Remson, a New Orleans native, is a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. She initially received her education in medical technology and began her career in the 1970s working in the Philippines at Holy Child Hospital. While there, she co-founded the Mount Carmel Mobile Clinic.

During her time in the Philippines, Remson learned that U.S. aid being sent to help those less fortunate was being misdirected by U.S. workers. Because of this, food and supplies were not reaching those who needed it most. This discovery inspired her to change her career focus and return to the U.S. to become a voice for the hungry.

Upon her return, she attended the Jesuit School of Theology, in Berkeley, Calif., to learn how to effectively influence policy. There, she took courses dealing with international ethics, moral theology and Christology.

“God works in ways that are different from our ways. I never once thought about activism until my experience in the Philippines taught me the necessity of actively participating in the policies of my government,” said Remson.

For more information about Remson or to arrange an interview, please contact Sean Snyder, smsnyder@loyno.edu or 504-861-5882.