Our Vision Statement
We the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois, are called by God to live and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a church and world suffering from the sin of racism.
As an anti-racist institution we are accountable to people of color in mutual relationships based on respect, equality and Justice.
Together we examine and redefine all aspects of our life, mission and ministry to incorporate and witness anti-racism.
We commit, as a publicly identified anti-racist congregation, to work toward an inclusive and anti-racist church and world.
“Racism is not the same thing as race prejudice,” says Sister Marcelline Koch, OP, co-chair of the Springfield Dominican Antiracism Team (SDART). “Racism is a combination of the abuse of institutional power and race prejudice, so that, even if someone has worked to rid herself of personal prejudice against people of certain ethnic groups, she is still caught in the web of racism, which is supported by institutional structures that are designed to privilege the group with social power and disenfranchise those without it.”
Institutional systems that keep racism in place in the United States are deeply rooted in United States history. Actively working to dismantle them is a life-long commitment rooted in Jesus’ teachings of inclusivity and right relationship. Learn how you can participate!
We knew from the moment we began the journey toward dismantling racism that we couldn’t proceed without the company of woman and men who are people of color. Our antiracism team includes about twenty Springfield Dominican Sisters, and about twenty partners who labor beside us in this sacred and challengin work. Any success we have we owe to their faithfulness and commitment. Watch this brief video to hear from some of our partners.
“The work undertaken by the Dominican Sisters and other groups could have a profound effect on Springfield and the state at large. Although the work is only beginning, the trust being created between African-American leaders and this city’s institutions is a welcome change that paves the way for meaningful reforms toward equality.
“Sometimes when I read the news or watch YouTube or Congress, I can feel hopeless or defeated,” she said. “But then I go to Springfield and see all the work happening in Illinois, I really feel like I’ve helped the world change a little bit today. Maybe I’ve helped save some lives and helped save someone’s dignity. It’s really gratifying.”
Executive director, Crossroads Antiracism Organizing
Excerpted from Rooting out systemic racism, Illinois Times, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Read the article.
Our local partner, Springfield Coalition on Distmantling Racism, offers regular training sessions to help churches, organizations, and municipalities learn about and work to heal racism. They are a regional partner with Crossroads Antiracism Organizing. Contact SCoDR to get involved in central Illinois or Crossroads to learn about how to dismantle racism wherever you are in the United States.
Confused about which Federal holiday we are observing today? You are forgiven. The answer is that we are observing two Federal holidays October 11, 2021: The first-ever Federally recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day AND the seemingly forever-observance of Columbus Day. On Friday last week President Joseph Biden issued the first-ever presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day AND …
This annual celebration of the day in 1865 when news of the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War finally reached Texas has come to the consciousness of more white people as a consequence of our society being shaken into awareness by the police murder of George Floyd. African Americans have celebrated Juneteenth …
Sister Patricia lives at Sacred Heart Convent and participated in Sister Mila’s course on the prophets. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Poems For Peacemaking This poem is an expression of the deep-felt remorse and enduring grief of Breonna Taylor’s sister as seen through the eyes of Sister Patricia Stark, OP. Lament for Breonna Taylor, My Beloved Sister How do …
Human trafficking is a $150 billion business. As a member of Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield are part of a global network working to end this dehumanizing criminal enterprise. In this webinar you will hear from Sister Kathlyn Mulcahy, a Springfield Dominican Sister and director of Bethany House, a Chicago …
A Statement from the Leadershipof the Dominican Sisters of SpringfieldRegarding the Verdict of the Derek Chauvin Trial For the loved ones of George Floyd, the people of Minnesota, and all people bent under the weight of systemic racism, yesterday’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial was a graced reminder that the arc of …
“If you can’t breathe nothing else matters” says a friend of the Dominican Sisters who is a respiratory therapist. Other physiological needs are equally important. If you can’t breathe, if you are physically hungry, if you are cold, tired, and without shelter, there is little else you can be attentive to. When needs for safety, …
Recognizing our interconnectedness in the cosmos, we have embraced the common call toward communion with God and all creation. Non-violence is an integral part of that journey-a journey which is both inward and outward. Awareness motivates behavior; behavior strengthens one’s internal orientation. Following are a few suggestions for living non-violently in relation to the cosmos, …
Recently I was privileged to participate in a Pax Christi United Kingdom workshop on nonviolence. The sessions took place over five weeks and each included prayer, scripture, presentation, reflection, and discussion in small groups. Participants came from across the globe, despite the inconvenience for people in many time zones. This workshop, “Making Active Nonviolence Our …
In scenes of unleashed rage- violence, looting, destruction-if we want peace, we must resist the temptation immediately to determine who is wrong and instead first ask, “What happened here?” This shift in approach is a basic tenet of being trauma-informed, which means we know what trauma is and how it affects individual and community …
There is hope when the nation acknowledges it failings and pledges to renew a sacred commitment to the common good. The social justice office and the leadership of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield issued a statement today pledging their prayer, energies, and “collective desire for national healing and renewal” in a statement issued today responding …
These resources were talked about at the February meeting of SDART. Check back for periodic updates.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Robin DiAngelo. Foreword by Michael Eric Dyson.
The Warmth of Other Suns: The epic story of America’s Great Migration. Isabel Wilkerson.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Isabel Wilkerson.
Interview with Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. (NPR)
It's More Than Racism: Isabel Wilkerson Explains America's 'Caste' System. Fresh Air interview with the author of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. (NPR)
Websites for teachers and other curious people
Learning for Justice Teaching Hard History: American Slavery.
Yes, Critical Race Theory is compatible with Catholicism. Here’s why. America Magazine.