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October 13, 2021, Morris Plains, New Jersey – For the sixth year, Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, has been named one of the Top 50 Power and Influence executives of nonprofit organizations by The NonProfit Times (NPT). The 50 were chosen from among 300 top executives and were recognized as initiators, innovators, and leaders who worked as “day-in, day-out executives,” according to The NonProfit Times.

The 50 honorees were feted recently at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., at the Annual NPT Power and Influence Gala.

Sister Donna, the first woman to serve as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), was recognized for her commitment to immigrants. She is “one of the few nonprofit CEOs who went to the border on more than a photo-op tour,” according to Paul Cholery, Vice President and Editorial Director of NPT. “She and her network are showing how to care for detained immigrants.”

Immigration Advocacy and Refugee Services is one of the top priorities of CCUSA. Catholic Charities agencies around the country provide critical assistance to immigrants and refugees, as well as citizenship education and other services.

In April, Sister Donna traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border at El Centro, California, to get a sense of the situation at the border and to give her support to Catholic Charities workers struggling to meet the needs of the immigrants. Local Catholic Charities agencies set up shelters with food and clean clothes for immigrants coming out of detention and helped them get transportation to their friends or relatives in the United States.

“There’s no way you can look at that degree of human suffering and not be affected by it,” Sister Donna said. “My hat is off to the people in Catholic Charities who are doing this all the time, every day. Each one of them is a walking saint. They reach out in compassion and respect.”

Feature photo: Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, left, takes time to chat with William and his daughter, Julia, who came to the United States from Brazil during her recent visit to Catholic Charities shelters at the U.S.-Mexico border. 


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.


 

 

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