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2007 CODALC Meeting, Lima

2005 Meeting
Voices of the

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CIDALC website

Latin American

United Nations
New York

read this report in Spanish here.

| Official STATEMENT

Voices of the Americas:
Remembering the Martyrs: A Challenge for Our Journey

December 1-5, 2005
San Salvador, El Salvador

An extraordinary meeting was held in San Salvador, El Salvador December 1-5, 2005. Dominicans from Latin America, the Caribbean and North America came together including representatives of CODALC, the Confederation of Dominicans in Latin America and the Caribbean, CIDALC, the Inter-Provincial Conference of Dominicans in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Dominican Leadership Conference (USA) the Dominicans of Canada, DSI, Dominican Sisters International and participants from Santa Sabina.

The purpose of the gathering was 1) to make stronger connections among Dominicans in the North and the South; 2) to share experiences of justice and peace as sisters and brothers from South to North and North to South; 3) to celebrate our collaboration past and present, and to dream about our future together and 4) to remember the martyrs and invite them to give us new life.

We chose the sacred ground of El Salvador because God passed through here through the blood of the martyrs, who gave their lives for truth and justice. We celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the El Salvador martyrs: Maryknoll Sr. Ita Ford, Sr. Maura Clark, Sr. Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan. As well as remembering the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the Jesuits of UCA. We embraced them as the living dialogue between South and North/North and South.

It was easy for us to laugh together and sing songs together -- as if we were all old friends who have known each other for a long time --like family returning home from a long a journey. We shared our tears for the martyrs we know and for the martyrs that have no name, who died of hunger, or war, or neglect. We shared our tears for the poor whose face is hidden and whose voice is silent. And in our exchange, we found that our tears have the same bitterness, the same hope, the same struggle. We found that a child who is hungry in SanPaolo, is the same child who is hungry in New York.

We used the see, judge and act process in order to analyze the situation of our world today. The first day, we saw who we were and examined the realities of each person in the group. We discovered that we were many nationalities, many cultures, many ages, men and women. The second day, we encountered the people and history of El Salvador, visiting holy ground and hearing sacred stories of the martyrs. The third day, we judged the reality and began to name some truths about the world we live in with the help of Jon Sobrino, SJ, Central American theologian. With his reflection we began to rekindle hope from the perspective of the poor. The fourth day, December 2nd we joined the people of San Salvador, the Maryknoll Sisters, along with hundreds of North American religious, in the crypt of the Cathedral, where the tomb of Oscar Romero lies. There we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the martyrdom of the four church women in a lively and joyous Eucharist. On the fifth day, we shared reflection on Isaiah 40, a biblical text which opens us to hope and invites us to raise a prophetic voice in our work for justice and peace.

We found that we had a common ground together.

• We stand in the common conviction that we must announce truth to the powerful.
• Our hope for the future comes from the shared memory of the martyrs.
• Our own salvation abides in solidarity with the poor.
• We all participate in the universal struggle for human dignity and human right in their totality.
• We recognize that war and militarization impact both North and South.
• We share a conviction about recovering the ideal of authentic democracy that respects the rights of citizens, which as been compromised by the political power of our time.
• We recognize that the economic model of the present day increases the gap between rich and poor both in North and South.
• From all of our convictions, we believe, as the World Social Forum proclaims, “another world is possible”.

We also identified some difficulties which must be recognized:

• We suffer the same realities, but we do not have the same concept of those realities. Our points of departure are different.
• The difficulty of language is not only linguistic, but rooted in meaning.
• Both in the North and in the South, the poor are hidden and without a voice, the middle class and wealthy turn their face and do not want to see suffering and poverty.
• In the North, suffering is privatized and difficult to express openly. The expectation is to be strong and self reliant.
• In the South, suffering is a part of daily experience and is seen as a pathway to the holy by the poor.

Principles of Analysis: In the process of doing social analysis we recognize the following pre-requisites: These things must be present first in order to do justice:

• Compassion comes from authentic closeness with the poor.
• Passion for truth comes from dialogue and remaining close to real situations of the world
• The presence of personal inner freedom and openness to conversion
• Work for justice and peace between South and North requires a spirit of complementarity without prejudices
• Work for justice and peace between South and North invites us to a contemplative awareness of the Word of God in Sacred Scripture and in the people

Commitments: our work together led us to act in the following areas:

Dominican Leadership Conference (USA)

1. We will post a news release and this declaration on DLC’s website and Domlife.org.

2. The North American Co-Promoters of Justice, Peace and Care of Creation, who were not present in our delegation, will be invited to engage in the continuation of this process.

3. DLC will provide a CD of photos of this meeting to share with DLC congregations and provinces and with the whole group.

4. We will work with CIDALC and CODALC and Canada to create links among our websites and share the perspective of South with North and North with South through stories and commentary.

5. We will identify a group of translators for ongoing work in Spanish and French.

6. Our NGO Representative in NY will contact the International Co-Promtoers of justice and Peace to add to the agenda in Prouihle, a dialogue about the possibility of a seminar on Immigration, Work and Free Trade.

7. Our NGO Representative in NY will send information from the UN on trade agreements and immigration to Latin American and Canada.

8. We will contact the Dominican High School Preaching Program and College Preaching Programs to help build awareness of North/South relationships.

9. We will be sure that this topic will be on the agenda of our 2006 Annual Meeting in Sinsinawa. We will ask delegates who are present at this meeting and who will be present at the Annual Meeting to be part of the report.

10. DLC staff and Executive Committee will consider sharing and raising awareness of South/North relationships to new members, students, novitiates and encouraging new members to have experiences outside of North American culture.

11. Our NGO Representative in NY will contact Dominicans in the USA who are working in immigration to share their stories with South and North.

12. We will encourage the Justice and Peace Promoters to include immigration and human trafficking in the 2006 Call to Action Meeting in July, 2006.


1. At our 2007 Assembly, we will put this experience on the agenda.

2. Each zone will transmit information bout this meeting within the zone.

3. We will share information in each country at the Federation and secretariat level.

4. We will communicate with the Justice and Peace promoters in each zone and share information on immigration.

5. We will bring this information to the Justice and Peace Meeting in Ecuador in June, 2006.

6. We will find ways to share information with DomLife.org.

7. We will put information on our website.


1. We will post this declaration on our website and create a link to Domlife.org.

2. Each delegate committed himself to write a one-page reflection on this meeting which will be posted on the website.

3. We will communicate in each zone about it.

4. We will publish the results and the action steps that come out of the Justice and Peace groups.

5. We ill circulate the proceedings of the CEDI meeting in Costa Rica.

6. We commit to work with COFADALC and develop the idea of creating sister cities in Latin American and North America.

7. We made a commitment to publish a book on the letters of sisters in prison.

8. We would like to propose to begin collecting the story of Dominican martyrs, catechists, delegates of the Word, North and South. To create a new Dominican Martyrology.

9. We salute the process that is taking place in Mexico on migrants at the border.

10. We propose a gathering of Dominican in Mexico and at the US southern border which will be open to everyone on the continent.

11. We propose a North/South seminar on Immigration, Work and Free Trade convened by the International Commission for Justice, Peace and Care of Creation.


1. We agreed to initiate informal contact at the dinner table about this meeting with as many sisters and friars as possible.

2. We will put this meeting on the agenda of the Provincial Council
3. We will publish something in the newsletter.

4. We will talk with the webpage editor of the Order (www.op.org) about how we might share information.

5. We ill publish (every two months) a column in our news bulletin “North/South South/North”.

6. We will make contact with other Dominican entities in Canada to inform them.

7. We will find people who are interested in this relationship to start a committee.

8. We will talk with other groups and organizations in Canada about their experience and work on immigration.

9. If people would like to come to the 2008 Eucharistic Congress in Canada, please contact us.

Santa Sabina

1. Joao Xerri and Chrys McVey will present a report of this meeting tothe master general and Council, with aid of CDs.

2. Margaret Ormond will inform prioresses in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Europe.

3. Margaret, Joao, Rose Ann Schlitt and Chrys will meet with co-promoters of Justice and Peace, Prakash and Marie-Therese Periault, OP, to share how we see the link with J&P.

4. We will prepare a report for IDI.

5. Margaret and Chrys will contacts leaders of groups here in one year’s time for a progress report.

6. DVI will publish results in their bulletin, and connect with local J&P.

7. Marcio Coute, OP and Chrys, during IEOP meeting, Easter week in Dybrovnik, will share the experience of this meeting, using the experience of the provincials themselves. They will start again the process of forming a European Dominican Family Secretariat (mandated by Krakow).

8. Marcio and Chrys will also share with the Dialogue Commission, meeting in Istanbul in June, the relevance of this meeting for the work of the commission.

9. Marcio and Chrys will work together toward putting in practice the exchange of students, also mandated by Krakow.

10. DVI will publish in their bulletin and make a connection the justice and peace people

We invite the Dominican Family in the Americas to engage in dialogue about justice and peace. We believe that the work of justice and peace is ineffective without this dialogue between North and South and South and North. We commend this work to Maria de Guadeloupe, Mother of the Americas.

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