August 25: Ring Bells for Racial Healing

Dear Friends,

2019 marks the 400th Anniversary of Black enslavement in the United States. Please join Pax Christi USA and the Episcopal Church on August 25th to continue the long walk to freedom and the critical work of racial healing.  See details from Pax Christi below.

Blessings

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August 19, 2019

From: Pax Christi USA – Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau

Subject: Celebrate the National Day of Healing to Commemorate 400 Years of African American History and Culture

Dear Faithful Members of Pax Christi USA:

On behalf of the Pax Chisti Anti-Racism Team, we are joining with the members of the Episcopal Church on August 25 to participate in a Healing Day of National Bell Ringing.  Please read this letter from the Episcopal Church for more details and information >>>  click here. 

We are inviting you to contact your local Catholic parish asking them to toll their church bells at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, to commemorate the 400 years of African History and Culture in the US and to continue (or begin) the work of racial healing.

If, wherever we are on Aug. 25, individually or as a community, we could find a bell somewhere in our homes and walk out on our porches, patios, yards, or open a window, and ring that bell for the liberation of our brothers and sisters too long denied human dignity and human rights.

Thank you for ringing a bell for long-deserved freedom.

Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau

Interim Executive Director, Pax Christi USA

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Sisters Home Visitors of Mary supporters may also wish to read the The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.

Statement on Gun Violence

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary, rooted in our faith and in Jesus’ model, work in prayer and action to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence. 

The most recent horrendous events again reaffirm that America suffers a gun violence epidemic.  We stand with the many who grieve these tragic deaths.  We pray with the families.  And we support public policies that reduce death and injury from gun violence. 

Gun violence is a complex issue.  Many areas need to be addressed.   As a beginning, in solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, we call on our elected leaders to promptly enact legislation that:

  • bans assault weapons
  • requires universal background checks for all gun sales, 
  • provides funding for gun violence prevention research, and 
  • makes the trafficking in weapons a federal crime.

We commend those who have worked tirelessly to prevent gun violence and we join them in their efforts to advocate for policies that promote human dignity by protecting life.

Blessings in Christ,

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary 

15th Annual Fundraising Gala

Fr Don Archambault

Join us a the beautiful St John Armenian Conference Center, Southfield, MI on Sunday, October 13, 2019, for the 15th Annual SHVM fundraising gala. 

This year’s gala joyfully honors Fr. Donald Archambault, retiring Corpus Christi pastor, for his many years of dedication as pastor in the City.   Dinner, Silent Auction, Dancing and Entertainment featuring Gisele Carver.  

Proceeds from the annual fundraising gala go to support the HVM missions in Nigeria.   Early childhood formation and family live have always been an HVM focus.  With your help we hope to build a permanent Home Visitors of Mary Day Care Center and move from the small space rented the past four years Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Cathedral in Abudja.  

It’s in an area where both parents must work for a living, struggling to exist.   The HVM sisters support these families by providing a safe and loving environment for the children’s early years of development. 

If any questions, please contact Sr. Rosemarie Abate at 313-869-2160 or email homevisitors@att.net. 

 

National Clergy Ask “When Will Americans Have Enough?”

National Cathedral, Washington D.C.

“As leaders of faith who believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over.”

Opinion: Mariann Edgar Budde, Randolph Marshall Hollerith, and Kelly Brown Douglas,

Detroit Free Press, August 1, 2019

 

 

The escalation of racialized rhetoric from the President of the United States has evoked responses from all sides of the political spectrum. On one side, African American leaders have led the way in rightfully expressing outrage. On the other, those aligned with the President seek to downplay the racial overtones of his attacks, or remain silent.

As faith leaders who serve at Washington National Cathedral ¬ the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance – we feel compelled to ask: After two years of President Trump’s words and actions, when will Americans have enough?

We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person’s sacred identity as a child of God. We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society.

This week, President Trump crossed another threshold. Not only did he insult a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality for all persons; not only did he savage the nations from which immigrants to this country have come; but now he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here?

Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous.

These words are more than a “dog-whistle.” When such violent dehumanizing words come from the President of the United States, they are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human “infestation” in America. They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation. Violent words lead to violent actions.

When does silence become complicity? What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we have had enough? The question is less about the president’s sense of decency, but of ours.

As leaders of faith who believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over. We must boldly stand witness against the bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and xenophobia that is hurled at us, especially when it comes from the highest offices of this nation. We must say that this will not be tolerated. To stay silent in the face of such rhetoric is for us to tacitly condone the violence of these words. We are compelled to take every opportunity to oppose the indecency and dehumanization that is racism, whether it comes to us through words or actions.

The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith is Dean of Washington National Cathedral. The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas is Canon Theologian of Washington National Cathedral.

Click here to view the full original opinion article in the Detroit Free Press.

Lights for Liberty

LIGHTS FOR LIBERTY,   Friday, July 12.

TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS FRIDAY EVENING FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS  IN DETENTION AS THEY SEEK LIFE, ASYLUM.

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

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“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.

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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