Dominican Congress on Human Rights in Salamanca, Spain

congress-on-human-rights-in-salamancaSubmitted by Marcelline Koch, O.P. (Springfield)

200 Dominican friars, sisters, laity, nuns, priest associates and youth, ministering in 50 countries in all corners of the world, gathered in Salamanca, Spain, September 1-5, 2016, to reflect on how our Dominican Family can renew its mission through the promotion and defense of human rights.

Hearing from a Dominican historian, participants reflected on the history of Dominican engagement in the human rights arena, even before the development of the term “human rights.” After hearing about the Church’s view on human rights, the group was challenged to look at obstacles that prevent the defending of human rights being integral to Dominican preaching. Along with presenters sharing about Dominican involvement today, others highlighted key global human rights challenges in our time.

All of this laid the groundwork for participants to develop concrete recommendations as they met in workshops on: strengthening justice and peace structures; engaging intellectual institutions; having a greater impact on the United Nations system; developing networks on human rights issues; noting processes that provincial, congregational and general chapters need to consider; and integrating the promotion and defense of human rights into the formation process.

The meeting also included regional and language breakout sessions as well as the screening of the award-winning documentary South Texas Gentle Men of Steel – Los Padres (Pluma Pictures).

Attending from the U.S. were:  Leo Almazan, O.P. (Southern), Francis Belanger, O.P. (Eastern), Mary Ann Connolly, O.P. (Peace), Brendan Curran, O.P. (Central), Chuck Dahm, O.P. (Central), Dusty Farnan, O.P. (Adrian), Armando Ibáñez, O.P. (Southern), Bernadine Karge, O.P. (Sinsinawa), Marcelline Koch, O.P. (Springfield), John Langlois, O.P. (Eastern), Kelly Litt (Peace), Margaret Mayce, O.P. (Amityville), John Morris, O.P. (Western), Aniedi Okure, O.P. (Nigeria & Washington, DC), Thomas Petri, O.P. (Eastern), Pat Siemen, O.P. (Adrian), and Jerry Stookey, O.P. (Central).

As documents are finalized and translated, they will be shared. For photos of the event, enjoy the links below.

From fr. Philip McShane:

Flickr account of the Province of Hispania:

Videos: From the Youtube account of the Province of Hispania: