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August 6, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – Responding to a call from historian Shannen Dee Williams to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the Adrian Dominican Sisters and many other congregations have been exploring their congregations’ roles and complicity in racism with the goal of eradicating it. The COVID-19 pandemic and the May 2020 murder of George Floyd brought greater awareness to systemic racism in the United States, of which women religious were not exempt from racist practices.
An August 5, 2021, National Catholic Reporter Global Sisters Report article by Dan Stockman describes what congregations found and their efforts to address racism. "We as women religious are absolutely called to this work,” Adrian Dominican Sister Elise García, OP, President of LCWR, said in the article. “It's fundamental to who we say we are, and the first step is to revisit our history, all our collective history and our specific history.”
Read the entire article, “‘Our Reckoning’: U.S. Sisters Take Up Call to Examine their Role in Systemic Racism.”
Feature photo: Adrian Dominican Sisters pose with the community of Blessed Martin de Porres Mission, the Congregation’s first ministry to Black Catholics, West Palm Beach, Florida, 1938. Adrian Dominican Sisters Archive Photo
July 7, 2021, Chicago – In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sister Xiomara Méndez-Hernández, OP, ministered as Chaplain at Loyola Medical Center in Chicago and was present when the hospital’s first patient died of the virus. Sister Xiomara is part of a group of graduates from Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago who discuss their role as Chaplains – Spiritual First Responders – who are present in compassion to patients, family members, and medical staff suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Sometimes we cannot cure, but we continue to care,” Sister Xiomara said. Watch the CTU video on Spiritual First Responders.