We, members of Catholic women religious congregations from Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties, join our voices with our parent organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents 40,000 Sisters throughout the United States. We acknowledge our responsibility for the wound of racism and the harmful consequences of white privilege which have continued to plague our nation since its founding. We join with members of good will in the human family in praying for justice and reconciliation.
The statement from LCWR is as follows:
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious strongly condemns the police-killing of another black man on the streets of our nation. Our hearts are breaking as we mourn with the family and friends of George Floyd and with all who have lost loved ones to law enforcement violence, all who live in fear, all whose dignity is threatened. The continued killing of black men and women, the constant harassment of people of color and the denial of the rights and dignity of our African American neighbors must end now.
Racism is America’s original sin. It is a virus every bit as deadly as COVID-19 that has infected our nation since its inception. Until we address it, people of color will continue to die, and our nation will never heal. Racism, whether the institutional racism which privileges some at the expense others or the daily acts of hate and discrimination, diminishes us all. It denies that most profound truth, that all of us are created in God’s image, and each of us is entitled to dignity and respect.
As women religious we acknowledge our own complicity in institutional racism; we ask forgiveness of our sisters and brothers of color; and we pray for our nation’s healing, and we know that is not enough. It is time for bold, decisive action. We pledge to raise our voices and to act now to end this scourge which has cost us so dearly. It is long past time to dismantle white privilege and rededicate ourselves to building God’s beloved community.
We urge Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, to pledge a just and timely adjudication of this tragedy. We call on the people of the United States to work with greater urgency to eliminate the systemic racism that infects the very soul of our nation. We ask God’s blessing on the struggle that lies ahead. Please join us on June 8th at 12 noon for a moment of silence as we pray together for a renewed respect for human dignity for all people.
Leadership Conference of Women Religious – Region 2 Long Island Cenacle Sisters, Daughters of Wisdom, Good Shepherd Sisters, Missionary Sisters of St. Benedict, Congregation of the Infant Jesus Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor, Sisters of Charity of Halifax, Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of St. Dominic, Sisters of St. Joseph, Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk