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

Books:

The Origins of the Urban Crisis

When Affirmative Action Was White

The Color of Law

 

Earth Day Message

STATEMENT OF MICHIGAN CATHOLIC SISTERS URGING SUPPORT FOR LEGISLATION TO ENSURE SAFE DRINKING WATER AND PROTECT THE GREAT LAKES

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.

#          #          #

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY

“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     Emailhomevisitors@att.net

 

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

Poverty and Human Trafficking Awareness

U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops Call to Action

January 2019 is Poverty Awareness Month and January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day Click the links above to see facts and videos on the evils of poverty and human trafficking in the US.  Measure your own “footprint” here > Your Footprint.  


“The future of humanity does not lie solely in the hands of great leaders, the great powers and the elites. It is fundamentally in the hands of peoples and in their ability to organize. It is in their hands, which can guide with humility and conviction this process of change. I am with you. Each of us, let repeat from the heart: no family without lodging, no rural worker without land, no laborer without rights, no people without sovereignty, no individual without dignity, no child without childhood, no young person without a future, no elderly person without a venerable old age.”
Pope Francis, Address at the World Meeting of Popular Movements, Bolivia

Christmas Prayers and Grateful Thanks

May Christmas deepen our walk together in Jesus.   May we allow the light of the Spirit to make us missionary disciples of God’s Love.

 

God of infinite mercy grant us a missionary spirit and
send us forth to encounter our sisters and brothers:
to walk with them in friendship to listen to their hopes and dreams with compassion to proclaim your Word with courage.

Stay with us always as we seek to share the joy of the Gospel with people of all generations, from every race, language, culture and nation.

 We ask you this with burning hearts, filled with the Holy Spirit through the loving intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Adapted from V Encuentro prayer

 

God is rich in mercy. Because of his great love for us, we have life, we have hope, we have peace in Christ, for, in Jesus, the barrier of hostility is breaking down.   We are members of the same family.

 

With grateful hearts, Sisters Home Visitors of Mary give thanks to our dedicated family of special supporters during 2018 including our heroic fund raising committee …   Beatrice Cochran, Chairperson, Vera Beauford, Melissa Belevendere, Gail Bond, Angela Boyer, Coral Lee Buckman, Esme Carson, Charlotte Davison, Ed Etim, Linda Franklin, Karen Liverman, Martha Lum, Jean Merrill, Samuel Onyene, Janet Sapanaro, James Smith, Barbara Walker, and Thelma Wilson.