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March 3, 2023, Adrian, Michigan – The elected leaders of five congregations of Catholic Sisters in Michigan wrote the following letter of support to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and State Representative Samantha Steckloff in response to a recent antisemitic threat to the two political leaders.
Dear Attorney General Nessel and Representative Steckloff,
We are alarmed and deeply concerned by public reports that antisemitism is on the rise in the State of Michigan and that you both were personally subjected to an antisemitic threat by a heavily armed Michigander. No elected leader in a democracy should ever face the threat of armed assault as you and Governor Gretchen Whitmer have encountered. The harmful repercussions of such violence are even more impactful when the threats are grounded in hatred of a leader’s religion, race, gender, ethnicity or sexuality.
As Catholic Sisters steeped in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and as elected leaders of congregations of women religious who have served people of all faith traditions in Michigan for nearly two centuries, we write to express our support and prayers for you and your families – and for all our Jewish sisters and brothers facing such hate-filled violence. We thank you, Attorney General Nessel, for fully engaging our State’s Hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism Unit in threats of violence against elected officials and call on federal authorities to take vigorous action against such hate crimes.
We pray that all Michiganders will join us in decrying antisemitism and in upholding the fundamental values of civil discourse in our democracy, respect for each other’s faith traditions, and love of neighbor.
Adrian Dominican Sisters (Adrian, Mich.) – Leadership Council: Elise D. García, OP, Janice Brown, OP, Bibiana Colasito, OP, Lorraine Réaume, OP, Corinne Sanders, OP,
Peggy Coyne, OP, Judy Friedel, OP, Mary Jane Lubinski, OP, Mary Priniski, OP, Mary Soher, OP, Sharon Spanbauer, OP
Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters (Grand Rapids, Mich.) – Leadership Team: Sandra Delgado, OP, Joan Williams, OP, Maureen Geary, OP, Megan McElroy, OP
Marist Sisters (Roseville, Mich.) – Leader: Linda Sevcik, SM
Servants of Jesus (Detroit, Mich.) – Congregational Leader: Paula Cooney, IHM
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Monroe, Mich.) – Leadership Team: Margaret Chapman, IHM, Marianne Gaynor, IHM, Jane Herb, IHM, Patricia McCluskey, IHM, Ellen Rinke, IHM