Dear Editor:

On the 170th Anniversary of their founding January 6, 2021, the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana, promulgated the following Corporate Stance on Racism.

Recognizing the wondrous diversity, culture and color among all God’s beloved peoples, we, the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana forcefully condemn the sin of racism that is the root of so much historical and current injustice.

In our congregation, we confess that we have not been aware of the privilege/the advantages we’ve experienced because of the color of our skin. Today racism is inherent in systems of healthcare, education, employment, housing, land ownership, judicial/criminal justice, the environment, immigration and voting rights. We open ourselves to a growing awareness of these disparities and seek ways to be allies with people of color.

We strongly condemn white supremacy in all its configurations of violence and hatred. We affirm the dignity of all; every person is created in the image of a loving God. For our sins of negligence and complicity we ask forgiveness.

Walking in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi, we strive to become actively anti-racist in every aspect of our individual and congregational lives, including through our investments. Through encounter – relationships – listening to the pain still experienced, we are challenged to be courageous and prophetic. Truth, repair, reconciliation are all integral to this ongoing process of healing.

Therefore, we will work to enter more deeply into our Franciscan vocation of conversion – praying and taking action to transform all institutions, including the Church. Our sisters and brothers demand this of us as we honor “who and Whose [they] are.”

Sister Noella Poinsette

Director of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

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