August 6 is Day of Prayer, Action for Iraq

On August 6, 2014, the lives of Iraqi Christians and other minority groups changed forever when tens of thousands of families were forcibly removed from their homes in the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq.

This August 6 — quite poignantly the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima — will be observed in Dominican communities throughout the United States as a date of prayer, solidarity, and action in support of our Dominican Family in Iraq.

Our congregation’s prayer service is scheduled for 5 pm Thursday August 6 in the chapel at Sacred Heart Convent.

Three ways to support Iraqi Christians

Pray. This prayer service prepared by the Iraq Coordinating Committee can be used in homes, parishes, or small groups.

Speak up. Use this post card to let Secretary of State John Kerry know that you want the U.S. government to bear its share of responsibility for the tragedy now facing Iraq.

Donate. Go to www.1000cranesforiraq.org and purchase a crane painting created by a Dominican artist. All proceeds from the sale of the cranes will support the ministry of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Sienna of Iraq, who are assisting internally displaced persons in Northern Iraq.

The U.S. Dominican Iraq Coordinating Committee (ICC), which includes Springfield Dominican Sisters Marcelline Koch and Beth Murphy, has prepared a prayer and a way for every concerned person to use their voices on behalf of the displaced people of Iraq. The prayer service is available for download here.

In collaboration with the ICC, a group of Dominican artists has launched the website 1000 Cranes for Iraq.  Proceeds from the sale of the crane art will support the life-saving ministries of the Iraqi Dominican Sisters who are serving IDPs in Northern Iraq. Each crane sells for $100. The goal is to raise $100,000 to provide the sisters with resources to help winterize make-shift shelters, educate children, and provide food and other essentials to families in Erbil, Dohuk and the surrounding countryside.

Cranes have been internationally recognized symbols of the desire for peace since they were folded by a young girl from Hiroshima as a way of realizing her dream for health and peace in the world.

You may also choose to encourage Secretary of State John Kerry to act on behalf of the IDPs in Iraq using this postcard that calls for the United States to act on its responsibility to assist the Iraqi people in this time of crisis by increasing funding for humanitarian assistance, security for the IDP populations in Iraq and for the Iraqi refugees struggling in nearby countries, and assurance that our domestic refugee resettlement program has the resources it needs to expedite resettlement of Iraqi refugees seeking resettlement in the U.S.

Dominicans in the United States have stood in solidarity with the people of Iraq since 1999 when the first Dominican sisters traveled to support the Iraqi Dominicans during the time of U.N. Sanctions imposed before the Gulf War in 1991. We have been especially united to the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Sienna in Iraq. Two Springfield Dominican Sisters traveled to Iraq on those early delegations, two of the Iraqi Dominican Sisters lived in our community for many years, and three of our sisters have made multiple trips to Iraq, most recently in 2010 and earlier this year.

Learn more.

I have family in Iraq 2015 Delegation Facebook page.

Read testimony of Iraqi Dominican Sister Diana Momeka at the House Foreign Relations Committee.

WBEZ Worldview

August 2014 interview with Sister Beth Murphy, OP and Rihab Mousa

October 2014 interview with Sister Beth Murphy, OP and Rihab Mousa

January 2015 interview with Sister Marcelline Koch, OP

Global Sisters Report

A collection of stories about U.S. Catholic Sisters and Iraq


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