The Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States made a public statement recently condemning the police-killing of another black man on the streets of our nation. We join all members of the Conference in mourning with the family and friends of George Floyd and with all who have lost loved ones to law enforcement violence, all who live in fear, all whose dignity is threatened. The continued killing of black men and women; the constant harassment of people of color; and the denial of the rights and dignity of our African American neighbors must end now.
Racism has infected our nation since its inception and is as deadly as COVID-19. Unless and until we address it, people of color will continue to die and our nation will never heal. Whether it is institutional racism which privileges some at the expense of others or the daily acts of hate and discrimination, racism diminishes us all. It denies the most profound truth that all of us are created in God's image and each of us is entitled to dignity and respect.
As a congregation of Catholic Sisters, we ask forgiveness of our sisters and brothers of color and we pray for our nation's healing. We also know that it is the time for bold, decisive action. We pledge to raise our voices and to act now to end this scourge. We urge Minnesota’s Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, to pledge a just and timely adjudication of this tragedy. We call on the people of the United States to work with greater urgency to eliminate the systemic racism that infects the very soul of our nation. We ask God's blessing on all who struggle for justice, whether through peaceful protest, changing unjust structures and systems and/or prayer for healing. May we all search our hearts to discover how we can each contribute to the change that is so drastically needed.
Sisters Mary Jo Nelson, Ginger Downey and Lucille Martinez
Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters