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August 9, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters join with their Black Catholic brothers and sisters – clergy, Sisters, and deacons – in affirming that “Black Lives Matter” and in their message: “Scripture and Catholic social teaching cry out for justice and equality in our relationship with one another.”
The National Black Sisters’ Conference issued a July 15, 2016, statement deploring the violence in the United States and, in particular, the shooting deaths of Anton Sterling and Philando Castile by police. Standing in solidarity with all who seek peace and justice for families of all who are killed, the Sisters’ Conference also formed a “strong and cohesive voice in support of the dignity of all persons,” as well as for criminal justice reform.
Adrian Dominican Sister Jamie Phelps, OP, is on the board of the National Black Sisters’ Conference.
The Black Catholic Joint Conference reiterated much of the Sisters’ statement, and called for all Catholic bishops, clergy, religious, and lay parishioners to “speak out against racism and injustice that perpetuates dysfunctional behaviors.” They concluded with a prayer for “strength to be forgiving people and understanding people holding on to what we believe is right” and for “perseverance to devote our energies to the task of making peace.”
The Black Catholic Joint Conference is made up of the National Black Sisters’ Conference, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, and the National Association of Black Catholic Deacons.
July 8, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters have issued the following statement in the wake of recent shootings of African American citizens by police and the sniper attack on Dallas police officers.
We are deeply pained and outraged at the increase in the number of police killings of innocent African American citizens – an alarming indicator of the way Black people are being dehumanized, marginalized and devalued. We cry out with our Black brothers and sisters that #BlackLivesMatter – the epidemic killings must stop!
We also deplore the horrifying sniper killings of police officers that took place yesterday in Dallas. As Rev. Martin Luther King said, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”
The race-based violence in our country is, as President Obama said, “an American issue” that confronts every one of us, individually and systemically. We pray for all victims of violence and their grieving families. And we call on all of us to engage in personal and national soul-searching on the evils of our socialization in racist systems and the steps we must take to detoxify our hearts and the heart of our nation. We may again draw on Rev. King and his Christ-inspired words for guidance: “Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
The Adrian Dominican Sisters will join at noon (CDT) today in the call for prayer issued by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawling as a way to begin “to heal wounds not create them.”