At the Chapter of Life and Mission held recently by the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Caldwell, delegates affirmed by the larger congregation set direction for the next five years. The delegates also approved two statements for publication, one on the climate crisis and the other on racism.
We, the Dominicans of Caldwell, New Jersey recognize that the accelerating climate crisis violates the sacredness of all creation and community of life.
We resolve to further scrutinize our use/abuse of Earth’s resources with regard to personal lifestyles, congregational decisions, and political/ economic structures. Climate justice demands our immediate and concrete actions to alleviate those causes that threaten the vitality, dignity, and well-being of all members of Earth’s community, especially the most fragile and impoverished.
With regard to our congregation’s statement on racism, we recognize that by its nature any statement on behalf of a particular group is going to be incomplete in that it fails to be inclusive of all who have experienced injustice. At this time in the history of our country, there is an awareness of the blatant disregard of the rights of our Black and Brown sisters and brothers. We choose to stand now realizing that we will stand again and again until someday all will live as one.
We hold the promotion of justice as top priority in every area of our congregation. Our charism to Praise, to Bless, and to Preach provides a foundation for us as community to seek justice that we might live in peace. We stand in holy boldness against any form of racism: institutional, corporate, systemic, and personal that deprives the life force, breath, and spirit from those who are the most vulnerable in our society. We give Praise for our Black and Brown brothers and sisters and cannot tolerate their exclusion in any form. We affirm the right of our Black and Brown brothers and sisters to have access to the basic human needs of nutritional food and clean drinking water, adequate healthcare, affordable housing, quality education, and full employment with a just wage. We Bless the very peoples whose blood, sweat, and tears have nurtured and fostered the growth of this nation even at the expense of their own liberty, safety, and equality. We Preach with a sense of urgency to exhort, reprove, and rebuke the sin of racism, violence, and theft of life from our Black and Brown brothers and sisters. We further affirm that Black Lives Matter and is a paramount Pro-Life concern because racism is an affront to the sanctity and human dignity of life. We pledge to work diligently toward systemic change to ensure the demise of racism in ourselves and in our society.