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May 18, 2022, Adrian, Michigan – As members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), we Adrian Dominican Sisters strongly support this statement deploring the racial hatred and gun violence that led to the devastating loss of life in Buffalo, New York, with the mass shooting of May 14, 2022. The LCWR statement follows.
Our hearts are breaking as we once again come face to face with the racial hatred and gun violence that infect our land. The members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious extend their condolences to the Buffalo community and all who lost loved ones, friends, and neighbors and we say once more violence and white supremacy cannot stand. And we know that is not enough!
Racism is a virus, every bit as deadly as COVID-19, that has infected our nation since its inception and until we address it, people of color will continue to die, and our nation will continue to bleed. Racism, whether the institutional racism which privileges some at the expense of others or the daily acts of hate and discrimination, diminishes us all. It denies that most profound truth, that all of us are created in God’s image and each of us is entitled to lives of dignity and respect.
As women religious in a predominantly white organization, we recognize how we have been privileged. We lament our silence in the face of white supremacist ideology, and we acknowledge our complicity in institutional racism. We ask forgiveness of our sisters and brothers of color, and we pray for our nation’s healing. And we know that is not enough!
It is time for bold, decisive action. We pledge to raise our voices and to act to end the violence and white supremacy which has cost us dearly. In the wake of the horror of Buffalo, we rededicate ourselves to LCWR’s commitment to dismantle systemic racism and white privilege and effect transformative change in our hearts, our organization, and our society and we pledge anew to build God’s beloved community. We will not permit that violence and white supremacy to stand!
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1,300 members, who represent more than 38,800 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
August 13, 2020, Adrian, Michigan – As she formally assumes the role of President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Adrian Dominican Sister Elise D. García, OP, spoke of her role as a “bridge” between younger and older women religious.
The LCWR is an association of elected leaders of congregations of women religious, representing about 80% of the women religious in the United States.
Sister Elise, a member of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ General Council, entered the Congregation at the age of 50. She brought her childhood experiences in five countries – representing the diversity that is so much a part of religious life today – as well as a wealth of experience in communications and development in non-profit organizations; and in book publishing. When she entered, she was Co-founder and Co-director with Sister Carol Coston, OP, of Santuario Sisterfarm, a farm and ecological center in the Texas hill country.
Before her election to the General Council in 2016, Sister Elise ministered as Director of Communications for the Congregation.
The formal transfer of leadership was set during the LCWR’s Assembly, held virtually August 12-14, 2020. Sister Elise will serve a one-year term as President, part of a leadership team with Sister Jayne Helmlinger, CSJ, Past President, and Sister Jane Herb, IHM, President-Elect.
Read more about Sister Elise’s life’s journey and her leadership role in religious life and in the LCWR in a Global Sisters Report article by Soli Salgado.