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In Salamanca Collaborating for Peace and Justice

[caption id="attachment_3862" align="alignright" width="300"]litt_meeting Story by Kelly Litt, Promoter of Justice (second from left)[/caption] As part of the 800th Jubilee of the Order of Preachers, 200 Dominicans from 50 countries gathered in Salamanca, Spain from September 1 through September 5 to participate in the Dominican Jubilee Congress: Dominicans in the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights: Past, Present, and Future. The Congress explored the link between study and mission, which is central to the Dominican charism of preaching the Gospel. Dominicans including Sisters, friars, nuns, priests, laity, Associates, and academics gathered to learn about the Order's history of responding to human rights violations and were challenged to continue promoting and defending human rights across the globe. The Congress was held in the Convent of San Esteban in Salamanca. This location was chosen because Francisco de Vitoria, Antonio de Montesinos, and Bartolomé de las Casas, along with their communities, worked for the rights of the indigenous people of Latin American in the 16th century. [caption id="attachment_3857" align="alignleft" width="200"]Convent of San Esteban, Salamanca Convent of San Esteban, Salamanca[/caption] In his opening address, Fr. Bruno Cadore, Master of the Order, challenged the assembly to ponder "what is the word that we need to preach where we are?" Throughout the week in Salamanca, participants grappled with pressing issues and engaged in rich discussions to discover how our voices and actions can align to bring about peace and justice in this world. On September 4, the Congress presented a final statement which outlined ways in which Dominicans can work toward promoting human rights. Resulting from this Congress, and as noted in the final statement, we can continue focusing on networking, building collaborations and partnerships, and sharing information. This document also outlined a desire to generate inclusivity in the Dominican family across all spectrums, including gender, region, and age. I was thrilled to attend this Congress, along with Sr. Mary Ann Connolly. This intensive week allowed me to meet fellow Dominicans who are passionate about human rights and who are making a daily difference in their communities. Their stories and example continue to inspire me to "preach peace" in all ways, always.

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