Sr. Judy Morris and Catholic Faithful Stand with Dreamers in DC

Sr. Judy Morris, OP, was one of 40 Catholic faith leaders taken into police custody today in a peaceful demonstration in Washington, DC. Sr. Judy was part of an action by Faith in Public Life to demand immediate action by the House of Representatives to create a clean path to citizenship for participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, known as Dreamers. Several hundred Catholic faith leaders and laity took part in the peaceful protest. Click here to view images of the protest courtesy of Faith in Public Life.

Sr. Judy and the other participants in this action were arrested outside in the Russell Office Building in the Rotunda. Click here to view a video of Sr. Judy speaking about her commitment to the Dreamers, provided by Faith in Public Life.

“Today’s demonstration was a profound experience of solidarity with our sister Congregations, lay people, priests – a remarkable effort to speak truth to power and to defend the marginalized in our society,” Sr. Judy said after she was released from custody. “Creating a clean path to citizenship for the Dreamers is simply Justice 101 – and it is our duty to come together to demand this action from our elected representatives.”

The Catholic Church supports the Dreamers and calls on the faithful to ask their members of Congress to find a bipartisan legislative solution to protect Dreamers.

As Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the Committee on Migration (USCCB/COM), recently stated: “As a nation, we have a moral and humanitarian obligation to Dreamers. We stand ready to work with the President and with Congress in the coming days to help fashion a just solution that meets their needs, ensures our nation’s safety and security, and sets the stage for the larger debate on immigration reform that is so urgently and desperately needed.”

The Dominican Sisters of Peace are in full support of Sr. Judy’s actions and will continue to advocate for our nation’s immigrants.

Posted in News

Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young

Sr. Pat Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young”
1 Timothy 4:12

Of all the despicable responses to the kids of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the one that ranks pretty high on my list goes to those who wanted to convince everyone that the news reports used actors to portray those kids. For those folks to believe that high school students don’t have enough brain matter, courage and desire to put words together in sentences that show how much they care is horrendous to me. These young people are somehow discovering they have voices that could be used for something more than pep rally cheers and classroom recitation. I listened to “leaders”, business owners, older people who question how pep rally cheerleading and classroom recitation can amount to much and want us to believe that whatever these kids are saying had to have been quoted to them by the “liberal” side of things. The kids could not ever have an original thought about anything so serious. I kind of think we rely on that old phrase “children should be seen and not heard” just so we will always know who is in charge.

On many social levels, those among the 18- to 40-year-old generation are among the missing from traditional ways to respond to life. There have been way too many times when they have been belittled because they have a different perspective on life and do not want to do it “our way”. Thus their absence is becoming even more noticeable. Yes, they reject the tried and true which a lot of us hold so dear. But consider—-how well is all that working for us?

The brain of an adolescent is still forming and impulse control is often the last to develop, but we older folks have the experience and understanding and can be strong guides for that formation to go in all the right ways. Helping them to see how violent acts truly solve very little or how important mutual respect can be in life are lessons they will not forget. We have responsibilities to them every day.

The Dominican Sisters of Peace have developed strategies for our Catholic high schools that will create environments where students and teachers can grow in peace. Let us pray for our young people every day.

Posted in News, Weekly Word

Sister Imelda Murrin, OP

Dominican Sister of Peace Imelda Murrin, 92, died at the Sansbury Care Center in St. Catharine, KY, on February 8, 2018.  She was born on August 29, 1925, in Waltham, MA, to Catherine Connors and John Francis Murrin.  In 1944 she entered the St. Catharine Kentucky Dominicans, now the Dominican Sisters of Peace.

Sr. Imelda earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Siena College, Memphis, TN, in 1956. True to her Dominican charism, she continued her studies in a wide range of topics, from Language Arts to the Sacraments to Bio-Ethics.

Sister Imelda also shared her love of learning with children in New York and Massachusetts as both a teacher and later as a principal, serving in that important ministry for more than 60 years.

Sister Imelda loved children and continued to spend time with them even after she retired from teaching. She would take the bus daily to volunteer at St. Jude’s School in Waltham, MA, supervising lunch and recess and surrounding herself with the smiles of students. She also volunteered at St. Patrick in Watertown, MA.

Health issues brought Sr. Imelda to Sansbury Care Center in 2007, where she entered a ministry of prayer and presence. Although she spent the last years of her life in a state of dementia, her friends at Sansbury remember her beautiful blue eyes and soft smile.

Sr. Imelda was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her Dominican Sisters of Peace religious community, one sister, Ruthann Bentley, and several nieces and nephews.

A Vigil of Remembrance was held Thursday, February 15 and the funeral was held Friday, February 16, both at the Sansbury Care Center Chapel.  Sr. Imelda was interred at the St. Catharine Motherhouse cemetery.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Imelda Murrin’s memory may be submitted securely online or sent to:

The Dominican Sisters of Peace
Office of Mission Advancement
2320 Airport Drive
Columbus, OH 43219

To view a printable version of Sr. Imelda’s memorial, please click here.

Posted in Obituaries

Youth Activists are Agents of Change: Will You Stand With Them?

Blog by Associate Colette Parker

I am inspired and encouraged by the young people who are currently speaking out against gun violence.

Their efforts to organize and protest in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida give me hope for a brighter future.

Their efforts also remind me that young people (students and teens) have been a vital part of social justice movements — perhaps most notably, the civil rights movement; but also the revolt against the Vietnam War and  the international fight against racial apartheid in South Africa; and most recently, the struggle against mass incarceration, the effort to end human trafficking, and the battle for immigration reform).

Like those before them, the young people who are part of the #NeverAgain movement are not afraid to call America to a higher national standard via civic participation and political action.

These young people are a shining example of what patriotism is all about. I applaud their steadfast determination to bring an end to gun violence, particularly in schools.

My faith in democracy has been reaffirmed by the young #NeverAgain activists, including:

Seventeen-year-old Cameron Kasky who said “we are on the cusp of our adulthood and ready to knock out the people who are not with us,” reminding politicians that he and his classmates will be old enough to vote in the 2020 election.

Eighteen-year-old Emma Gonzalez who said “we have to be the people calling for change, demanding change,” rallying her peers to focus on the removal of politicians who refuse to support stricter gun regulations.

Seventeen-year-old Florence Yared, who did not mince words when she said “To Congress, you are directly responsible for every community that has lost people to gun violence. You have the power to change this and if you don’t, we will change you. We will vote you out.”

Seventeen-year-old David Hogg, who said “now that you’ve had an entire generation of kids growing up around mass shootings, and the fact that they’re starting to be able to vote, explains how we’re going to have this change. Kids are not going to accept this,” telling politicians that his generation will use its growing electoral influence to affect gun reform.

Let us never forget that youth are agents of social change. Our history tells us that we should not be surprised by their activism, but we should be impressed by their fortitude in advocating for what they believe is right.

The question is: Do we have the courage to stand with them?

Posted in Associate Blog, News

We need to be his voice

Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP

The nurse suggested that I visit a little boy who had been injured by gunshots. He was a cutie – eight years old and kind of small for his age.  During the first visit, he didn’t say anything to me but if I asked him a question, he would shake his head yes or no, or put up his fingers. Eight fingers for his age, three fingers for the number of sisters.  The nurse said that because of his injuries, he makes a lot of mucus and has a tendency to spit when he talks.  During the second visit, I asked where he want to school and suggested he could spell it out with his hands. After three letters – f  a   r, he was stuck and couldn’t continue.  I told him that he could tell me that it would be OK if there was some spit but he wouldn’t budge.  Finally, he jumped out of bed, rushed to the bathroom, spit, and said loudly “Fairmoor.”  It seemed to wear both of us out to get this far but it was progress.  I will visit him again and hopefully, someday, we’ll have more of a conversation.

No little boy should have to struggle so hard to communicate because he has been shot.  He has virtually no voice to express his anger about being shot and to tell legislators to protect him like the students in Florida are able to do.  We need to be his voice.  We need to be the voice of all children who have no one to speak for them.  Call your Senators and Representatives, state and national.  Tell them it’s time to do something –  require universal background checks, prohibit gun purchases for individuals with mental illness, records of domestic abuse, assault or are known terrorists, ban assault type weapons and high capacity magazines. These measures just make sense and have the support of the majority of the American people whether Republicans and Democrats.

It’s also time to get the NRA back to its true purpose – to help individuals use their guns in the safest way possible.  Tell your representative to stop taking campaign money from them….to stand up to them and truly represent the people and not the NRA.

We need to be his voice….use yours today.


Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog