Engaged in the Mission

The Adrian Dominican Sisters have long been engaged, individually and communally, in efforts to protect the integrity of creation and bring about a more just, peaceful and compassionate world. The Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation coordinates these efforts by bringing to light injustices and recommending ways to take action.


The work of the Adrian Dominican Sisters in advocating justice, peace, and care of creation is rooted in the Word of God proclaimed by prophets such as Isaiah and Amos; the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels; the Catholic Church’s century-old tradition of Catholic Social Teaching; and our own Mission and Vision.

For decades, Adrian Dominican Sisters have been engaged, individually and communally, in efforts to protect the integrity of creation and bring about a more just, peaceful and compassionate world. We work in partnership with our Associates, Co-workers, and many friends and collaborators through issue advocacy, alternative investing, corporate responsibility work, and our many different ministries.


Key Issues

These are key issues in which the Adrian Dominican Sisters have taken a corporate stance or sponsored as a corporate initiative: 

Climate Change/Ecology: We acknowledge the reality of climate change and the urgency of addressing this issue for the sake of the whole Earth community. 

Death Penalty: We reverence the life and dignity of every human person and oppose the death penalty, urging support and compassion for the victims of violence and restorative justice for the offenders.

Human Trafficking: We oppose the trafficking of children, women, and men for sexual exploitation or any other purpose and call for policies that prevent human trafficking, restore victims to freedom, and hold perpetrators responsible.

Immigration: As a Congregation based in a country of immigrants, we call for just immigration reform that treats all people with dignity and respect, keeps families intact, and provides a direct pathway to citizenship. 

Iraq: The Adrian Dominican Sisters staunchly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and called for a withdrawal of U.S. troops. Today, Iraq is afflicted with violence, sectarian strife, and the takeover by extremists of northern territories, leaving tens of thousands of Christians and other minorities displaced. We call on the President and Congress to pressure the governments of Iraq and Kurdistan to provide security and infrastructure for Internally Displaced persons – and to expedite resettlement and increase quotas for Iraqis awaiting immigration to the United States.

Nuclear Disarmament: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists recently puts the world at 90 seconds to midnight on their “doomsday clock,” highlighting the dangers we still face of nuclear Armageddon. We call upon the U.S. government to lead the way for global abolition of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction. 


To read more about our key issues and initiatives and learn about resources for each, click on the links below.

Climate Change / Ecology

The Dominican Sisters of Adrian stand for climate and ecological justice and are committed to work for the common good of the whole Earth community. We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, when we must take steps to halt or lessen the impact of global climate change on our world. In fidelity to our call to reverence life, we recognize our place within the balance and harmony of Earth’s magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms. 

Along with our commitment, as individuals and as a Congregation, to “live simply and sustainably for the sake of the whole Earth community,” we have been engaged in the issue in a number of ways. 

Through the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, founded by Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, we educate the public on the inherent right of all of creation to thrive—not just to serve as a material resource for human beings—and work for a legal system that acknowledges the rights of all of creation. Voices for Earth Justice, directed by Associate Patricia Gillis, is an “interfaith network of people committed to prayer, education and action that deepen our sense of wonder, responsibility, and gratitude for all creation.” Our campus Permaculture site models ways of living more lightly and sustainably on Earth.


The Earth Charter an international document that recognizes Earth as our home and calls on all citizens to take the necessary responsibility to respect and care for our planet.

Nuns & Nones Land Justice Project – Nuns & Nones is an intergenerational, spiritual community dedicated to care, contemplation, and courageous action in service of life and liberation. Young seekers, religious communities, and movement partners are working to create new land transitions rooted in ecological and racial healing.

Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature a “worldwide movement creating human communities that respect and defend the rights of nature.”

Laudato Si' Action Platform – An initiative of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, this program is inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’ and equips the Church to achieve real and lasting solutions to the ecological crisis.

Care for all Creation – a six-session process for faith communities, created by the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (IPJC).

The Catholic Climate Covenant calls on the faithful to care for the Earth, noting that the impact of climate change—brought about in large measure by the Western, industrialized world—has the greatest impact on people who are poor. 

Laudato Si' (YouTube video)
Encyclical letter of Pope Francis on care for our common home.

Death Penalty

Florida Chapter against death penaltyIn their commitment to the life and dignity of every human person, the Adrian Dominican Sisters stand in solidarity against the death penalty. We share in the pain and suffering of the victims of violence, and their families, and support them in prayer, compassion, and the struggle for healing and justice. At the same time, we call on the citizens of the United States to forgiveness and compassion for the offender, leaving the final judgment to God and leaving open the possibility of reform and redemption for the offender. The Catholic Church’s social doctrine recognizes that the state may impose the death penalty upon criminals convicted of heinous crimes, but only if this is the only available means to protect society from a grave threat to human life. This condition is almost non-existent today.

Although our home state of Michigan abolished the death penalty in 1846, the Adrian Dominicans are mindful of inmates who are executed. On the day of an execution, a bell tolls at 3:00 p.m. to remind the Sisters, Associates, and Co-workers to pray for the person scheduled to be put to death. 


National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty—a national organization whose mission is “to abolish the death penalty in the United States and support efforts to abolish the death penalty worldwide.”

The Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death—a statement by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to put an end to the use of the death penalty in our nation.

Facts about the Death Penalty—updated facts about the death penalty, posted by the Death Penalty Information Center, in such areas as the numbers of people executed, the disproportionate percentage of African Americans and other minorities who are executed, the tremendous cost of the death penalty, and its failure to deter crime.

Human Trafficking

human trafficking imageThe Adrian Dominican Sisters “stand in support of human rights by opposing human trafficking (children, women and men) for the purpose of sexual exploitation and any other form of slavery. We will educate ourselves and others regarding the magnitude, causes and consequences of this abuse, wherever we are missioned and throughout the world. …We will advocate for policies and programs that address the prevention of the trafficking of children, women and men.” (Adrian Dominican Corporate Stance, December 2008)

The Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (IPJC) organizes a silent vigil to raise awareness of human trafficking on the first Sunday of every month. Sisters in Adrian started a human trafficking task force in 2009 that has now become a larger Lenawee County community effort, joined by members of the local chapter of Zonta International, as well as local law enforcement professionals, professors, medical personnel, social workers, students, and concerned citizens. In Illinois, Project IRENE (Illinois Religious Engaged in Nonviolent Endeavors) provides an avenue for women religious of the state to be involved in legislative advocacy for justice. Since 2010, Project IRENE has successfully advocated for one bill each year to enable the state to prosecute human traffickers and protect and uphold the rights of the victims. 


Watch the PBS Frontline Documentary Sex Trafficking in America that tells the story of stories of young women coerced into prostitution and follows one police unit that’s committed to rooting out sexual exploitation.

Alliance to End Human Trafficking The Adrian Dominican Sisters are a member of this collaborative, faith-based national network that offers education, supports access to survivor services, and engages in advocacy in an effort to eradicate human trafficking. The Alliance is a member of Talitha Kum International, a global network of women religious aligned in this mission.

Polaris Project  “Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris disrupts the conditions that allow human trafficking to thrive in our society.”


The Adrian Dominican Sisters “call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes reunification of families, and a path to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants living in the United States. Until such time as this is achieved we support a moratorium on deportations.

“The Adrian Dominicans call for the repeal of restrictive state laws that attempt to supersede the federal government's authority to regulate immigration. In particular, we call for an end to state legislation that criminalizes people with undocumented status; denies people basic human services; and creates a climate of fear in immigrant communities and in our country.” (Excerpted from the Immigration Statement adopted by the Adrian Dominican Leadership Council in 2012.) 

Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, former Prioress of the Congregation and an immigration attorney, has trained Sisters and volunteers from the Adrian community to work with young, undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the U.S. as children. The goal was to help the young people successfully apply for temporary relief from possible deportation through the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program begun by the federal government. 


Immigration: An Initiative for our Times – a 52-page booklet, produced by the Adrian Dominican Justice Promoters, designed to walk people through a theological reflection on the issue of immigration in our times.

Justice for Immigrants – a national Catholic campaign designed to “educate the public, especially the Catholic community…about Church teaching on migration and immigrants; … to enact legislative and administrative reforms; …and to organize Catholic networks to assist qualified immigrants obtain the benefits of the reforms.” 

Strangers No Longer – joint pastoral letter on immigration issues in the U.S. and Mexico by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Mexican Episcopal Conference.


logo for I have family in IraqIn November 2005, the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued a corporate stance firmly opposing the U.S. war in Iraq. Today, while the official war has ended, the people of Iraq still suffer from continued sectarian violence and the invasion of northern territories by ISIS insurgents. In August 2014, tens of thousands of Iraqis, primarily Christians and other minorities, fled their homes on the heels of an attack by ISIS forces. They are living in the Kurdish region as refugees in their own country—or internally displaced persons—having left lives and livelihoods behind. Adrian Dominicans stand in solidarity with the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena of Iraq and the people of Iraq.

In January 2015, a delegation of Dominican Sisters—Marcelline Koch (Springfield), Arlene Flaherty (Blauvelt) and Durstyne Farnan (Adrian)—visited the Sisters and toured the displacement camps to witness the conditions first hand, and help spread the word. We called on President Trump and Congress to pressure the governments of Iraq and Kurdistan to provide security and infrastructure for Internally Displaced persons—and to expedite resettlement and increase quotas for Iraqis awaiting immigration to the United States.


Catholic Relief Services (CRS) “carries out the commitment of the bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas.” The organization “promotes human development” throughout the world and helps U.S. Catholics to “live out their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world.” See how CRS is helping the people of Iraq.



Nuclear Disarmament

no nukes logoThe Adrian Dominican Corporate Stance, adopted in 2007, calls on the U.S. government to lead the way for the global abolition of nuclear and all weapons of mass destruction by adopting a plan to lock down, reduce, and eliminate nuclear and all weapons of mass destruction. We call for immediate development, adoption and implementation of a plan that will ensure that there will be no new nuclear weapons, no new materials for nuclear weapons, and no testing of nuclear weapons.

Although many people have lost their concern about the possibility of nuclear war, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently moved the hand of their “doomsday clock” to 90 seconds to midnight when it was three minutes to midnight in 2015. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has increased the risk of nuclear weapons use, hamstrung the world’s response to climate change, and hampered international efforts to deal with other global concerns,” the organization noted in a statement. “There is no clear pathway for forging a just peace that discourages future aggression under the shadow of nuclear weapons. But at a minimum, the United States must keep the door open to principled engagement with Moscow that reduces the dangerous increase in nuclear risk the war has fostered. …In this time of unprecedented global danger, concerted action is required, and every second counts.”

Nuclear disarmament has been one of the peace issues which Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates have reflected on and prayed about during Peace Prayer, an evening prayer offered seasonally on the Motherhouse campus.



Global Zero - Can you imagine a world free of nuclear weapons? Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Its members understand that the only way to eliminate the nuclear threat – including proliferation, nuclear terrorism and humanitarian catastrophe – is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, secure all nuclear materials and eliminate all nuclear weapons: global zero.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Wars (ICAN)—a “global campaign coalition” advocating for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. 

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)—statements and resources on nuclear war, violence, and peace.

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War—a “non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 62 countries” working to create a “more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear war.” 


Dominican Family Commitment to Justice

Across the world there are thousands of Dominican sisters, friars, priests, associates, youth and laity who all share in the Dominican Charism. As members of one Dominican Family, they work together to promote justice and peace as part of their fundamental Mission. 

The Adrian Dominican Sisters are part of two international Dominican groups that lay the foundation and coordinate actions for the purpose of promoting social justice and human rights.


Partners in Justice

Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (IPJC) acts for justice in the Church and in the world. IPJC is sponsored by 20 religious communities and collaborates with Catholic, ecumenical, interfaith, and other organizations in carrying out this mission.

Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States, serves as a resource to members and uses its corporate voice in solidarity with all who are suffering from violence or oppression. 

Partnership for Global Justice is an NGO Coalition of congregations, groups, and individuals grounded in gospel values who work in partnership by providing workshops and advocacy training to raise consciousness and awareness for the promotion of the UN Charter

NETWORK, a national Catholic Social Justice lobby and a leader in the global movement for justice and peace, educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation.