Leadership Taking Action
IHM Leadership Endorsements and Public Statements
Below you will find the most recent endorsements by the IHM Leadership Council of organizational sign-on letters and position statements on issues that are important to the congregation.
Oct. 30, 2020
IHM Sisters Call for Free, Fair and Peaceful Elections
We, members of the Leadership Council of The IHM Sisters of Monroe, Mich., believe that free, fair and safe elections are a bedrock of democracy. Active and informed citizen participation in the political and electoral process is essential not only to the proper functioning of government but also to the full exercise of our faith. We are deeply concerned about any actions in the days ahead that may intimidate voters, deny safe and equal access to voting, sow doubt in electoral outcomes or raise a threat of violence. Such efforts to corrupt and undermine core electoral freedoms must be condemned in the strongest of terms across the political spectrum.
Specifically, we strongly oppose the recent decision to allow gun owners in Michigan to openly carry weapons at or near polling places. The Second Amendment should never be used to justify impeding upon the electoral process or intimidating voters. This nation can only live up to its democratic ideals when all are confident that they can vote freely and without undue hardship for the candidates of their choosing.
Multi-party commitment to election integrity is a primary factor in preventing election violence. Therefore, we call upon our elected leaders and elections officials to recommit to our core democratic principles and to consider what they themselves can do in this critical hour to uphold the best of our nation’s values. Specifically, we urge our local leaders across the political spectrum to urge citizens to refrain from carrying weapons to polling places on election day and to refrain from violence or the threat of violence on election day and beyond.
We pray that our leaders will demonstrate a robust commitment to our fundamental democratic principles with their words and actions at this pivotal time.
Oct. 22, 2020
The IHM Leadership Council has signed on to a Pax Christi International’s statement commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. The statement was released on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 – United Nations Day. The statement calls for strengthening the United Nations in a (post) COVID-19 era. Click here to read the statement.
The IHM Chapter 2000 Directions state, “Convinced that the plight of the Earth is intimately connected to global poverty, violence and oppression we commit our personal and communal efforts and resources to build sustainable community. This commitment challenges us both to personal transformation and to systemic change.” This endorsement was made with this commitment in mind.
Aug. 12, 2020
The IHM Leadership Council endorsed an interfaith sign-on letter supporting the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from South Sudan.
The Trump administration’s decision whether or not to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for South Sudan is due Sept. 3, 2020. Safe return to South Sudan is impossible at this time as war, the COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the world’s most devastating humanitarian crises continue. In addition to extending TPS and protecting the 84 current South Sudanese TPS holders, the letter calls upon the Department of Homeland Security to re-designate and extend protection to people who are more recently arrived.
The IHM Chapter 2012 Directions state, “Together, with those who share our vision and values, and in solidarity with those who are made poor and marginalized by existing structures, we choose to move forward with profound trust in the power of the Spirit, living the liberating mission of Jesus Christ.” This endorsement was made with this commitment in mind as well as the IHM community’s ongoing ministry with and commitment to the people of South Sudan.
June 26, 2020
An Appeal to Pope Francis: The Path of Nonviolence Toward a Laudato Si’ Future
The IHM Leadership Council recently endorsed “An Appeal to Pope Francis: The Path of Nonviolence Toward a Laudato Si’ Future.” The Catholic Church is celebrating the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, the powerful and beautifully crafted encyclical which calls us to a new understanding of all of the connections woven into creation. In this time of crisis, it is clear that nonviolence is a crucial pillar in the foundation of the more just and sustainable post-pandemic world to which Laudato Si’ leads us. The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative is inviting all Catholic religious communities, organizations and educational institutions to sign this message to Pope Francis expressing gratitude for his leadership during this time of crisis and our support for the teachings of Laudato Si’. The statement goes on to urge him to draft a companion reflection to Laudato Si’ that would deepen and greatly expand Catholic understanding of and commitment to nonviolence as a crucial pillar in the foundation of integral human development and a more sustainable “common home.” The statement will be delivered to Pope Francis in early August.
“Impelled by the growing realization that we are interconnected with the whole web of life, and that the escalation of violence, increasing global poverty, and the exploitation of the Earth threaten all of creation, we renew our passion to live the liberating mission of Jesus in the spirit of humility, simplicity and zeal. We choose to enflesh this call by working with others to build a culture of peace and right relationship among ourselves, with the Church and with the whole Earth community” (IHM Chapter 2000 Direction). This recommendation for endorsement is made with this commitment in mind.
White Faith Leader Declaration
The IHM Leadership Council recently endorsed the “White Faith Leader Declaration.”
Faith in Action is launching a body of anti-racism work led by white clergy and faith leaders that will complement and be accountable to black leadership. They are asking white clergy and faith leaders to sign on and circulate this “White Faith Leader Declaration.” The statement is the product of a national call with more than 800 white faith leaders last week which included Cardinal Joe Tobin and Bishop John Stowe. It has been vetted by a team of clergy and organizers of color. This initiative springs from a challenge from black clergy and organizers for white faith leaders to do deep work in white spaces to uproot white supremacy and anti-blackness. The work led by white faith leaders will aim to lead anti-racism formation among white congregants; mobilize white people to support organizing and policy change goals led by people of color; and organize public actions to reject any public narrative that would seek to use racism, white supremacy and anti-blackness to divide us in the run-up to the November elections.
The declaration is just one part of a long-term project to build the spiritual and political muscle we need to transform our nation together, accountable to leaders and organizers of color.
“By participating in the process of creating right relationships, healing and reconciliation, we are determined to eradicate racism within ourselves, our congregations, our church and our global community.” (OSP/IHM Healing Racism Statement) This recommendation for endorsement is being made with this commitment in mind.
June 17, 2020
Sign-on Letter Regarding Immigration Policy and COVID-19
The IHM Leadership Council endorsed an interfaith organizational sign-on letter (initiated by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition) speaking out against the Trump administration’s immigration, detention and asylum policy during COVID-19.
Closing the border. Rejecting asylum-seekers. Deporting children and adults, including those who have COVID-19. Spreading the virus throughout the world. Allowing immigration detainees to die in jail. These are just a few of the immigration policies the Trump administration has implemented, using the coronavirus as an excuse to enact its already-formulated, anti-immigration agenda.
Speaking out against these policies, the Interfaith Immigration Coalition circulated a national sign-on letter for people of faith and faith-based organizations.
The IHM Chapter 2012 Directions state, “Together, with those who share our vision and values, and in solidarity with those who are made poor and marginalized by existing structures, we choose to move forward with profound trust in the power of the Spirit, living the liberating mission of Jesus Christ.” This endorsement was made with this commitment in mind.
June 1, 2020
IHM Sisters join the call for racial justice
The Leadership Council of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Mich., joins in solidarity with those across the United States and around the world who are crying out in grief and in nonviolent protest against the continued killing of our Black brothers and sisters. While acknowledging both our privilege and complicity in structural racism, we stand by our sisters and brothers of color and recommit ourselves to raising our voices and working for systemic change in order to build the Beloved Community.
We pray for peace and comfort for the families of those whose lives were taken most recently: George Floyd of Minneapolis; Ahmaud Arbery of Brunswick, Ga.; and Breonna Taylor of Louisville, Ky. We pray for the families of countless others before them whose lives were taken in similar acts of racialized violence as they continue to grieve the loss of their loved ones. We pray for strength and healing for all of our brothers and sisters who have been traumatized in numerous ways by both individual and institutionalized racism, be it killings at the hands of law enforcement or disproportionate death due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We see you. We hear you. We join you in calling for justice.
By participating in the process of creating right relationships, healing and reconciliation, the IHM Sisters are committed to working to eradicate racism within ourselves, our congregation, our Church and our global community. In the spirit of Pentecost, we invite you to join us in the following prayer, excerpted from: The Assumptions of White Privilege and What We Can Do About It by Rev. Bryan Massingale:
Come, Holy Spirit!
Fill the hearts of your faithful.
Enkindle within us the fire of your love.
Come, Holy Spirit!
Breathe into us a fiery passion for justice.
Especially for those who have the breath of life crushed from them.
Jan. 13, 2020
IHM Leadership Council Statement Regarding Military Escalation with Iran
The IHM Sisters’ Leadership Council joins other Catholics and people of faith around the world in condemning both the Trump Administration’s assassination of Qassem Soleimani and Iran’s retaliatory bombing of a United States military base in Iraq. As Pope John Paul II said, “War is always a defeat for humanity.” War with Iran would lead to unimaginable suffering for tens of thousands of Americans and Iranians alike, each made in the image of God.
We are relieved that there was no immediate military response from the Trump Administration. However, we recognize that such peace is tenuous. Threats, enactment of proposed economic sanctions and further erosion of the Iran nuclear agreement have the potential to reignite conflict at any moment. We must ensure that the cycle of retaliation is stopped and a path to lasting peace is pursued.
We urge both U.S. and Iranian leaders to step back from the brink of war. It is never too late to engage in diplomacy. We are encouraged that the U.S. House has exercised its authority by passing legislation that would prevent the president from launching a unilateral, unauthorized war against Iran. We urge the Senate to do the same.
Moreover, we urge all our leaders to follow the nonviolent example of Jesus, who instructs us to love our enemies as well as our neighbors and who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”