July 16, 2015, Detroit, Michigan – Less than a week after the United States celebrated its 239th birthday on the Fourth of July, Sister Nery “Luchy” Sori, OP, became one of its newest citizens. Sister Luchy was one of 89 people to take the Oath of Allegiance in a July 9 Naturalization Ceremony in the Federal District Court in Detroit. She had passed her citizenship test on July 6.
Sister Luchy noted that, as a member of a U.S.-based Congregation, it made sense for her to be a citizen of that country. As a U.S. citizen, she said, it will be easier for her to return for full-time ministry in her home country, the Dominican Republic, without having to go through Immigration.
Another advantage to her new citizenship, Sister Luchy said, is that she will now also be able to vote. “I have lived here for 10 years, and whatever is going on matters to me, too. This is my second home.”
Sister Luchy applied for citizenship in November 2014 after moving to Adrian, Michigan from New Orleans, where she had been engaged in Hispanic ministry. While in Adrian, she has worked for the Motherhouse Transportation Department, driving Sisters to and from Detroit Metro Airport and to medical appointments. She has also been involved this summer in the Dominican Colleges Preaching Conference and the Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference, both hosted by Siena Heights University in Adrian.
Sister Luchy was also engaged in studying for her citizenship test, focusing on the answers to 100 questions on U.S. history and government discussed in a special booklet offered as a resource by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The citizenship test is made up of 10 of those questions, but “I had to study and learn those 100 questions because you don’t know what they’re going to ask you,” Sister Luchy explained. On her test on July 6, “the questions were very simple, like the name of the national anthem and how many stripes the flag has,” she said. The more difficult question dealt with the rule of the law, she added.
Sister Luchy hopes to return to the Dominican Republic for full-time ministry, perhaps returning to Centro Antonio Montesino, which offers popular education to community groups throughout the country. Her ministry there would involve traveling throughout the country, giving workshops on such topics as human rights, nonviolence, and the relationship of Scripture to human rights.
Sister Luchy also has the option of teaching high school at Espiritu Santo Fe y Alegria School, an elementary school and high school founded by the community of Bani and Adrian Dominican Sisters Maurine Barzantni, OP, and Renee Richie, OP.
Sister Luchy also hopes to be involved in vocation outreach in the Dominican Republic, as well as offering workshops and retreats in the high schools.
“There’s a lot to do in the Dominican Republic,” she said. Being a U.S. citizen with the freedom to travel to and from the Dominican Republic allows her to “concentrate on ministry” that would make a difference in her home country or her new country.