Dominican Sisters Leadership
In Solidarity with Mississippi ICE Raid Victims

Call for Compassion, Understanding, and an End to Practices that Create Fear

Springfield, Ill.— “In recognition of the rights and dignity of children and families frightened and separated during the ICE raids on August 7, 2019” the leadership of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois, “cry out” in solidarity compassion, and support.

The sisters offer their solidarity to all those affected by the raids and “those who are living in fear,” the statement says. “We hope that you and your families can feel the support of our prayers.”

Springfield Dominican Sisters have ministered in Mississippi for more than 70 years. Their ministry, St. Dominic Health Services, was recently transferred July 1, 2019, to the sponsorship of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, based in Baton Rouge, La. Eight Dominican sisters continue to live and serve in Jackson.

The statement, issued from the congregation’s Illinois-based leadership, asks that “all people of good will in Mississippi” acknowledge that the trauma created by a broken immigration system “Unravels the bond of our common humanity and weakens the foundation of trust” essential to every Mississippian’s well-being and safety.

“At the foundation of our desire for a more just immigration policy is gospel-based Catholic Social Teaching,” Said Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, prioress general of the Springfield Dominican Sisters. “The United States Catholic Bishops have very clear guidelines on this.”

For access to resources from the bishops and other helpful materials for those accompanying immigrants anywhere in the U.S., visit springfieldop.org/immigration-resources.

The sisters encourage donations of time, expertise, and financial assistance to one of two Mississippi-based organizations. Donations may be made through Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Jackson or through a coalition of Mississippi organizations responding to the needs of immigrant families, which includes the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA), and the MacArthur Center for Justice at the University of Mississippi.

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