The Dominican Sisters of Peace have established four justice committees: Peace and Nonviolence, Human Trafficking, Immigration, and Eco-Justice. Sister Judy Morris, OP, justice and peace promoter for the congregation, is eager to share news of what the sisters are doing, and hopes their work will inspire and encourage others.
The Human Trafficking Committee contacted the presidents of 10 airlines asking them to sign the code of conduct provided by ECPAT USA for all involved in the tourism industry. The airlines included: Jet Blue, Quantas, Southwest, US Air, Continental/Northwest, Delta, Frontier, Air Tran/Spirit, United and Latin American Airlines. The committee asked sisters and associates to write and thank the president of American Airlines for training flight crews to recognize signs of human trafficking.
The Human Trafficking Committee is distributing Code of Conduct cards from ECPAT to sisters/associates and others who may stay in hotels. These are given to hotel managers, asking them to communicate with CEOs on the importance of signing the Code of Conduct.
The congregation wrote letters to managers of hotels in the Lexington, Kentucky area prior to the World Equestrian Games raising their awareness about human trafficking. We also made phone calls to hotels in Dallas prior to the Super Bowl with the same goal.
Peace and Non Violence Committee
The committee encouraged members to write or call their senators asking them to support legislation banning the sale of automatic weapons like that used in the Tucson shooting. Currently the committee is working to make all founded ministries “weapon free zones.” This will mean that each building will post signs, “no weapons allowed in the building.” All schools, retreat centers, and environmental centers will be asked to participate.
All motherhouses, local communities and associates are asked to observe one minute of silence for peace before vespers or other communal prayers.
In the last legislative session, the Immigration Committee led an extensive effort to pass the DREAM Act. Phone calls, letters, and participation in rallies were frequent and ongoing. The committee will continue to promote fair and comprehensive legislation.
The Eco-Justice Committee invited members to contact senators and representatives to oppose legislation that weakens the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in enforcing the Clean Air Act.
Web Page Reflections
The congregation posts monthly reflections on justice issues.
The congregation has hosted three web casts: Lucianne Siers, O.P. speaking on “The Spirituality of Justice,” Mary Richie speaking on Human Trafficking and Fr. Michael Crosby speaking on reconciliation in the church.
Declaration of Life
One hundred and eighty-eight Dominican Sisters of Peace have signed the Declaration of Life. This legal document states that if the signer is murdered she/he does not want the perpetrator executed. Learn more at www.oppeace.org/declaration-life
Human Trafficking Symposium Eighteen sisters and associates of the Dominican Sisters of Peace participated in the fourth symposium on Human Trafficking sponsored by the Boston Unit of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Anti-Trafficking Coalition. The event took place at the Brighton, Massachusetts, motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston and included about 200 participants representing women religious congregations from throughout the greater Boston area. See story and photos on the Dominican Sisters of Peace web site.