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January 17, 2022, Adrian, Michigan – The Leadership Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement in support of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, both pending in the U.S. Senate.
As women of faith who believe that all of us were created equal in the image of God, we call on the U.S. Senate to take immediate action to enact the two voting rights measures now pending. Nothing could more justly commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day than passage of legislation ensuring that all citizens of voting age are free to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy. It should not be dependent on political party, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, or economic status. As a nation blessed by people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, including descendants of people who were sinfully enslaved for 12 generations, we are a multiracial democracy. As Dr. King once said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
We are in the same blessed boat and we believe that our differences are a gift from God that we are called to honor, respect and value. We call on the Senate to take whatever steps are necessary to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, which would prevent partisan gerrymandering and make it easier to register and vote, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore protections in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that the vast majority of Congress has continued to reauthorize in bipartisan support until recently.
As Dr. King once said, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.… This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
Members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Leadership Council, led by Prioress Patricia Siemen, OP, are Sisters Peggy Coyne, OP, Chapter Prioress; Joy Finfera, OP, Secretary; Judy Friedel, OP, Chapter Prioress; Elise D. García, OP, General Councilor; Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor; Mary Jane Lubinski, OP, Mission Prioress; Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator and General Councilor; Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor; Mary Priniski, OP, Chapter Prioress; Mary Soher, OP, Mission Prioress; and Sharon Spanbauer, OP, Mission Prioress. Sister Rosita Yaya, OP, also serves on the Leadership Council as Chapter Prioress in the Philippines.
September 29, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – The General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement on the treatment by the President Joseph Biden Administration on Haitian refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters join other religious leaders nationally in calling on the Biden Administration to immediately end deportation flights of Haitians seeking refuge at the U.S.-Mexico border. We are deeply distressed by images and reports of the inhumane treatment of Haitians at the border.
In a letter sent to President Biden and his Administration, 177 faith-based organizations and 1,947 faith leaders representing diverse faith traditions write:
Haitian asylum-seekers are not only pursuing what is their legal right. They are also challenging us all to live in full alignment with our religious and spiritual values, which implore us to welcome the stranger and not to turn our back on those in need. Late last month President Biden stated that, “human rights must be at the center of our foreign policy, not the periphery.” Yet the expulsion of Haitian immigrants from the U.S. southern border illustrates just the opposite. We must back up bold statements with actions.
We join in calling for an end to the deportation flights and use of Title 42 to justify those expulsions; a safe resumption of asylum processes; holding border agents accountable for abuses against Haitian migrants; and vigorous pursuit of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED) and other remedies to protect Haitian migrants from harm as they seek refuge from environmental, political, and social strife.
The letter notes that “It does not go unnoticed that Black immigrants are often targets of the largest mass expulsions from the U.S. Mass migration from Haiti does not occur simply in response to natural disasters – it is closely tied to harmful, racist U.S. and Western foreign policies toward Haiti going back to 1804 when the country was founded by formerly enslaved people who fought for and won their freedom. We must address not only our treatment of Haitian migrants, but also our treatment of Haiti and the Haitian people, and begin to listen to their own solutions for their country’s needs.”
We Adrian Dominican Sisters further call on the United States Congress to enact comprehensive and long-overdue immigration reform, which is the only way to provide for rational and humane policies that serve the common good of all.
Members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ General Council are Sisters Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress; Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor; Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator and General Councilor; and Patricia Harvat, OP, and Elise D. García, OP, General Councilors.