As part of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the Leadership Team of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters urges all who support the Sisters to reflect and pray about this statement as we join together to heal our county of racism, white supremacy, hatred, and gun violence.
Violence and White Supremacy Cannot Stand
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 1300 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.
Dismantle Racism and White Supremacy
On July 10, 2020, the national board of LCWR unanimously affirmed a call to place the conference on a five-year journey to address systemic racism and white privilege. The call emerged from an open and honest conversation held among leaders of LCWR and the National Black Sisters’ Conference. This work goes to the heart of remembering “who we are and whose we are,” as Servant of God Thea Bowman, FSPA, said, and to our integrity as a conference of religious leaders. It is spiritual in nature, raising existential questions about LCWR and our identity as US women religious, as followers of the way of Jesus who called us “to love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)...