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Statement on the Sin of Racism in Our Time and Place

The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Scranton, PA

As IHM Sisters, we desire to be in the midst of the pain of our world. Surely, that is where we find ourselves standing as we bear witness to the murder of George Floyd, the tragic and senseless killing of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and the shameful list of all in our nation’s story who have been treated differently, unfairly, violently because of their racial heritage.

How could our hearts not be profoundly disturbed by images of violence that suggest that some lives hold more value than others, that only some voices merit a hearing, that violence enacted against people of color is in any way normal and is anything but social sin?

We hold in tenderness and prayer cherished lives lost as well as families left to mourn their deaths, their absence, and their unfulfilled promise. We lament the sin of racism and the systemic injustices that disproportionately oppress our sisters and brothers of color.

But that is not enough. Our sympathy does not change the structures of injustice.

We refuse to accept that that is all we can do, all we can be.

We believe we are better than our brokenness and our shadow.

We call on the elected leadership of the United States to make of this moment a movement toward genuine transformation and the restoring of right relationship. We welcome all people to join us as we commit ourselves

  • to embracing continuing conversion of heart;
  • to owning and repenting our complicity in contributing to a worldview that treats some with suspicion and hostility based on race;
  • to entering into deep inner soul work that challenges attitudes of racial bias;
  • to profound listening to and learning from the voices and stories of people who have been unheard, dismissed, silenced, excluded;
  • to building relationships with love, trust, and forgiveness in which we assume and draw forth the best of one another.

We call on our welcoming God, the Holy One, to heal our coming together, our breathing together, and to usher us closer to the dream of the beloved community in our beautiful yet wounded world.