Lights for Liberty

LIGHTS FOR LIBERTY,   Friday, July 12.


On Friday July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps, will bring thousands of Americans out to protest to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.   COME AND JOIN IN DETROIT 6 to 8 pm at the Immigration Office on Mt. Elliott and E. Jefferson.

Find other local events around the county HERE

 Beginning at 7 p.m. on July 12th, advocates, activists’ and impacted persons will speak on the issue of human detention camps in the United States. At 9 p.m., around the country and around the world, participants will light candles in a silent vigil for all those held in US detention camps to bring light to the darkness of the Trump administration’s horrific policies.

Lights for Liberty is a coalition of people dedicated to human rights, and the fundamental principle that all human beings have a right to life, liberty and dignity. They are partnering with international, national, regional, and local communities and organizations who believe that these fundamental rights are not negotiable.

400 Study Club

A group of women members of the historic 400 Study Club, Ms. Barbara Jean Johnson, President, met at the Sisters Home Visitors of Mary convent on May 8 for a presentation by and discussion with John Thorne, Executive Director of Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance.  Detroit Catholic Pastor Alliance is a lay organization dedicated to strengthening the quality of life in Metropolitan Detroit on social, moral, political, and economic issues.  The 400 Study Club is a 70-year-old organization of professional black women, many of whom have achieved important firsts in their fields.

Club members were invited to HVM convent by HVM friend Vera Beuford who correctly recognized that 400 Study Club members and DCPA share the same ultimate vision … Making a Difference in this world.  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”  Club members heard John Thorne describe the challenges, accomplishments and achievements encountered in the DCPA housing project along Gratiot Avenue. 

Learn more about the amazing women of the 400 Study Club by clicking here … American Black Journal video.

Learn more about Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance by clicking here … John Thorne HVM presentation.


Spatial/Structural Racism

Sr. Mary Ellen Howard & Dr. Peter Hammer

Faith In Detroit is a group of Detroit-area women religious who meet to discuss and pray over social justice issues.  Fifteen women from various Detroit-area Catholic orders met in the great room of the SHVM convent on May 4, 2019.

They were gifted with an outstanding in-person presentation on “spatial/structural” racism by Dr. Peter Hammer, Professor of Law and Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University.

Dr. Hammer is a leading voice on economic and social issues. He is co-author of Judge Damon J. Keith’s biography, Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith.

“Spatial/structural” racism refers to the inter-connected dynamics between our institutions that produce or reproduce the evil of racism.  Our present is formed by our past.  Our neighborhoods, our opportunities, our transportation, our jobs, our knowledge & attitudes, our monetary wealth, our entire physical reality is indelibly shaped by the governments, schools, churches, banks, businesses and other institutions in our lives (and in the lives of our parents and grand parents!).

Unfortunately, those institutions often cause and perpetuate racism.  Racist impacts are built in from the start.  It is part of their DNA.  Every life-long Detroiter knows this intuitively.  It was our world.  It was our 8 Mile Road.  Professor Hammer masterfully articulates the scholarly details.  See for example his 2016 essay on the racial underpinning of Michigan’s emergency city manager program.

But there is hope!  Indeed, Sisters Home Visitors of Mary were founded on that hope.  Institutions can be changed.   Churches, schools and political structures at all levels can and will respond to calls for social justice and peace if enough voices are heard.  Persons of faith should lead the way …

Lord, we praise you for creating all humans, rich and poor, in your holy image.  Teach us to heal the structural injustices which rob your children of dignity and life.

For more on this important topic click below …

YouTube:  John A. Powell

Video Link 1

Video Link 2


The Origins of the Urban Crisis

When Affirmative Action Was White

The Color of Law


Earth Day Message


As leaders of congregations of Catholic Sisters whose members have lived and ministered in the State of Michigan for a collective 564 years, we call on our State Senators, Representatives, and Governor to enact legislation aimed at safeguarding our drinking water and protecting the precious God-given gift of fresh water that is our Great Lakes.

We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating quality of drinking water throughout our state, particularly as it impacts children and the most vulnerable. Exposure to lead and contamination by PFAS, toxic cyanobacterial blooms, and other pollutants are placing the health of millions of residents in our state and the integrity of the world’s greatest body of fresh water increasingly at risk.

We urge support for Governor Whitmer’s proposed Drinking Water Supplementals, which would provide $180 million in one-time infrastructure-improvement funds to promote safe drinking water. The funds would be used to replace lead pipes, enable schools to install filtered water-bottle filling stations, support PFAS remediation, and for water system optimization and local asset-management planning to help prioritize water infrastructure maintenance.

We also urge support for the Agricultural Pollution Bill (Senate Bill 247/House Bill 4418), which aims to protect the Great Lakes from waste produced by factory farms (also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFOs). The legislation would ban the application of manure, fertilizer and other livestock operations waste, like E. coli, hormones and antibiotics, on frozen or snow-covered ground – a practice that leads to waterway contamination.

Water is a precious gift from God to all of creation and, as Pope Francis has written, “a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights” (Laudato Si’, 30). We urge our elected leaders in Lansing to do all they can to safeguard and protect our state’s cherished waterways and drinking water.

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This statement was issued on Earth Day 2019 by the leadership teams of five congregations of Catholic Sisters whose members have lived and ministered throughout the State of Michigan for 564 years: Dominican Sisters of Adrian (since 1886); Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids (since 1877); Home Visitors of Mary, Detroit (since 1949); Servants of Jesus, Detroit (since 1974); and Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe (since 1845).

Easter Blessings

Easter blessings to you on this greatest of days — this celebration of life — life eternal! May the joy of Easter bring hope and peace into your everyday life.  May the light of the Risen Lord guide and strengthen your journey and our journey together. 

As we move into the warming, life-filled days of Springtime season you might check your calendar and see if you might be able to attend the weekend retreat organized by Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary at St. Mary Retreat Center in Oxford, MI, on June 22-23, 2019.   Take a moment away from everyday events for a time of discovery.  Renew your spirit in the beauty and quiet of a relaxed, homey atmosphere surrounded by fields and lakes.  Walk with the Risen Lord, listening to the inner movements of the Spirit.

Click her for further details and registration …. Upcoming Events.








“Strangers No Longer” Speakers Available

“Strangers No Longer,” is a Detroit-based group of religious and laity formed in 2017 in response to heightened enforcement of immigration policies in the US.  The name comes from a 2003 U.S. bishop’s pastoral letter titled Strangers No Longer: Together On the Journey of Hope that laid out principles for reforming U.S. immigration policy.

Strangers No Longer has grown to include representatives from 18 parishes and religious communities across the Archdiocese of Detroit.  Parishioners work to care for the local immigrant community both within and outside their parish.  They join in spirit with Pope Francis and other faith leaders and with national groups such as Justice for Immigrants who all call for for the welcome and acceptance of immigrants as a fundamental principle of Christian social justice teaching, as opposed to the morally reprehensible federal government policies currently in place especially at the U.S.-Mexican border.

“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as your own kinsman, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the Land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Lv. 19

Strangers No Long has persons available who have themselves visited the U.S. southern border and are willing to share their experience with your group, parish and/or school.  Bringing a speaker to a class, a meeting, a liturgy is an easy way for you to open up minds and hearts.

Just get in touch.  We’ll be glad to help make arrangements for a speaker.  Mail the form below or simply contact Sr. Rosemarie Abate by email or phone.

_ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Organization _________________________________________________________________

Contact person ___________________________________, Position________________

Email _________________________________________ Phone ________________________

A speaker for:  _______________________________________________________________

Preferred times:  ___________________________________________________________

Send to or contact:

Sr. Rosemarie Abate, HVM  121 E. Boston  Detroit, MI 48202

Telephone:   313 869-2189


Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance

An informative and enjoyable fundraising tea was held at the SHVM convent in Detroit on February 17, featuring John J.F. Thorne as keynote speaker.  John serves as Executive Director of Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, a lay organization dedicated to strengthening the quality of life in the Metropolitan Detroit area by engaging members in social, moral, political, and economic issues. 

The audience listened in rapt attention as Mr. Thorne shared the challenges, hopes and successes of DCPA over the years.  “All things are possible” is the core of his attitude and his actions.  “Hold up your corner” and then expect still more from both yourself and from others.  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

DCPA’s most visible successes over the years have been its affordable housing programs began over 20 years ago, when a member donated a family house on Melbourne Street.  Through the help of many friends DCPA was able to rehab the home and eventually sold it so it could be “HOME” for a family of three.  Since that time the Alliance has moved its housing program to a 22 square-block area on the east side of Detroit called Gratiot Woods.  Anchored by Nativity of Our Lord Church, the Alliance has invested more than $18.6 million in the Gratiot Woods Community.  Click here to view DCPA’s impressive list of projects >>> DCPA Current-Future Projects.

Example of DCPA Housing

Bea Cochran

John Thorne (with genuine halo) and Sr. Elizabeth Harris

Happy Door Prize Winner