Our Inspiration

We take our inspiration from the courageous and passionate Fr. Bartolomé de Las Casas (1484-1566), a Spanish Dominican missionary who defended the rights of Native Peoples in the Americas. He wrote and preached on emancipation and the rights of Native Peoples for over 50 years.

Even today, he stands among Dominicans as the defender of the victims of injustice and abuse and is considered one the influential preachers on human rights in the Americas.

Las Casas is one of the important voices for human rights and justice throughout the world. Dominicans revere him and look to his courage and inspiration when speaking out on behalf of others.

The year 2010 marked the 500th anniversary of the first community of Dominican friars in the Americas. They arrived at Hispaniola—today, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They stood in solidarity with the Native peoples, giving witness to the truth that the dignity of each person is to be respected. The bold Dominican community preached the Gospel and gave witness to justice when others were oppressing the Indigenous People.

The year 2011 marked the 500th anniversary of the courageous and profound Advent preaching of Antonio de Montesinos, OP. It was during this holy preaching that Las Casas, himself underwent a transformation. He became a Dominican friar and dedicated his life to ministering with the oppressed in the Americas.

“United in spirit with the early Dominican community may we always have zeal for the gospel of justice and be a source of hope for the oppressed in our midst.” —Mary Therese Johnson, OP (Sinsinawa), Las Casas Newsletter, Fall 2010

Las Casas: Dominicans in Ministry with Native Americans, Inc. is pleased to be able to support those Dominican sisters and friars who continue to minister with Native/Indigenous People today. If you would like to offer you financial support, please contact us.

Learn more about Las Casas with these links:

Catholic Encyclopedia on Las Casas