January 17, 2022, Adrian, Michigan – The Leadership Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement in support of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, both pending in the U.S. Senate. As women of faith who believe that all of us were created equal in the image of God, we call on the U.S. Senate to take immediate action to enact the two voting rights measures now pending. Nothing could more justly commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day than passage of legislation ensuring that all citizens of voting age are free to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy. It should not be dependent on political party, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, or economic status. As a nation blessed by people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, including descendants of people who were sinfully enslaved for 12 generations, we are a multiracial democracy. As Dr. King once said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” We are in the same blessed boat and we believe that our differences are a gift from God that we are called to honor, respect and value. We call on the Senate to take whatever steps are necessary to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, which would prevent partisan gerrymandering and make it easier to register and vote, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore protections in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that the vast majority of Congress has continued to reauthorize in bipartisan support until recently. As Dr. King once said, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.… This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” Members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Leadership Council, led by Prioress Patricia Siemen, OP, are Sisters Peggy Coyne, OP, Chapter Prioress; Joy Finfera, OP, Secretary; Judy Friedel, OP, Chapter Prioress; Elise D. García, OP, General Councilor; Patricia Harvat, OP, General Councilor; Mary Jane Lubinski, OP, Mission Prioress; Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator and General Councilor; Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor; Mary Priniski, OP, Chapter Prioress; Mary Soher, OP, Mission Prioress; and Sharon Spanbauer, OP, Mission Prioress. Sister Rosita Yaya, OP, also serves on the Leadership Council as Chapter Prioress in the Philippines.