As School Sisters of Notre Dame and as the Atlantic-Midwest Province, we lament the death of Mr. George Floyd of Minneapolis, who died from inhumane and cruel treatment at the hands of local police. The cries of Mr. Floyd for mercy, and for breath, resound through our hearts, calling us yet again to repent our complicity in the scourge and sin of racism.
Our Sisters in the United States and Canada have a long and cherished history of ministry among African-Americans and other minority communities. It has been our privilege to have collaborated with, as well as learned from, these communities. Together we have embraced the Gospel-inspired mission of promoting dignity and equality for all. Together we have worked for nonviolent approaches to resolving the most intractable conflicts. In the memory of George Floyd, and all who have died from the violence of injustice, let us continue to work for racial, social, and ecological justice, mindful of the poignant and ever timely guidance offered to us by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral.
I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results.
Nations have frequently won their independence in battle.
But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.
In the spirit of nonviolence, let us proceed in the struggle for justice. Let us awaken Dr. King’s dream in our lives and in our world. May peace and Justice prevail on Earth! Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the Earth!
LCWR Condemns Killing of George Floyd
May 30, 2020
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious strongly condemns the police-killing of another black man on the streets of our nation. Our hearts are breaking as we mourn 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 is America’s original sin. It is a virus every bit as deadly as COVID-19 that has infected our nation since its inception and unless and until we address it, people of color will continue to die and our nation will never heal. Racism, whether the institutional racism which privileges some at the expense 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 dignity and respect.
As women religious we acknowledge our own 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 now to end this scourge which has cost us so dearly. It is long past time to dismantle white privilege and rededicate ourselves to building God’s beloved community.
We urge 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 the struggle that lies ahead.
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has more than 1300 members, who represent approximately 80 percent of the more than 40,000 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.