FOCUS 2020 & BEYOND PLANNING STATEMENT

As preachers of the gospel, we commit ourselves and our resources to collaborating with others to advance social change for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.

Assumptions:

  • Integral ecology as the lens for decision making
  • Our responsibility to St. Agnes Academy, St. Pius X High School, and San Vicente de Paul Bethania
  • Prudent stewardship of resources
  • Our integral relationships with the vulnerable and marginalized, local and global Dominican Family, and present and future partners in mission

Adopted: February 7, 2020

2016 CHAPTER FOCUS STATEMENT:

We, the Dominican Sisters of Houston commit ourselves to focus our efforts, energy, and resources for the next six years on Integral Ecology. This is the lens through which we will assess our decision-making and our actions as individuals, as a congregation, and in partnership with others.

We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach.  It must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor (Pope Francis, Laudato Si, #49).

DIRECTIONAL STATEMENT (1992):

We, the Houston Dominican Sisters, commit ourselves to a deepening of personal and communal spiritual life which grounds and moves us to action.

We will develop a consciousness of local and global environmental issues; we will live and act in an ecologically responsible manner.

We will advocate the transformation of those social conditions which oppress women and children.

We will sensitize ourselves to racial discrimination and commit ourselves to work for equality for all persons, especially those caught in systemic discrimination.

CORPORATE COMMITMENT (1997):

We the Houston Dominicans, moved to a strong reaffirmation of our Mission and Directional Statements, pledge ourselves to renewed accountability for the commitments they embody.  With one voice we claim our Dominican tradition as “Communities of the Holy Preaching,” and embrace our call to be women preachers of justice.

DOMINICAN SISTERS SANCTUARY STANCE STATEMENT

The Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart, Houston, Texas, are committed to the Spirit of St. Dominic. The Dominican Order at its inception encompassed the risk that accompanies new modes of ministry that each age of human history demands. The constitution of this congregation encourages “the preaching and teaching of the Word when there are people in need.” Today, the need of the oppressed people of El Salvador and Guatemala seeking refuge in the U.S. cry out to the compassion exemplified in the life of Jesus whom we profess to follow.  As authentic preachers and teachers of the Word, we must respond to the challenge of the Word, adapting our ministry to the current needs in the church and in the world.

Therefore, we, the Dominican Sisters of Sacred Heart Convent, Houston, Texas, in the spirit of Dominic and Catherine, openly express at this time our compassion for our suffering sisters and brothers who come to us fleeing the persecution and injustices of El Salvador and Guatemala. As women committed to preaching and teaching the Word, we declare and offer public sanctuary to refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala.

As women dedicated to the gospel of peace, we seriously question the current U.S. policy of military intervention in Central America.

Finally, we believe that our U.S. government should grant political asylum to these refugees in accord with the United Nations Convention and Protocol Relating to Refugees and as adopted by the U.S. Refugee Act of 1980.

September 27, 1987

DOMINICAN SISTERS HOUSTON, TEXAS
STATEMENT ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
DECEMBER 30, 1997

The Dominican Sisters of Houston call for the abolition of the Death Penalty in Texas and throughout the United States. As women of faith, we believe in the sanctity of human life and in a merciful and forgiving God who offers the opportunity for redemption, change and growth.

We stand in solidarity with the Catholic Bishops of Texas, who, in their October 1997 statement on capital punishment, say, “We implore all citizens to call on our elected officials to reject the Death Penalty and replace it with non-lethal means of punishment which are sufficient to protect society from violent offenders of human life and public order.”

Our compassion goes out to those victims and their families who suffer at the hands of accused and/or convicted criminals. However, we believe that the Death Penalty is an inappropriate response that seems to encourage a culture of violence.  Furthermore, capital punishment has not proved to be a deterrent to crime.

RESOLUTION ON BUILDING A CULTURE OF PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD

“True peace is far more than the absence of war. For there to be peace among nations, there must also be peace within them, among groups and individuals. All of us – young and old, rich and poor, governments and civil society alike, must do our part. Peace is in our hands. The culture of peace can be ours.” – Kofi Annan., UN Secretary General, Co-Recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, together with the United Nations.

Whereas Christ calls us to be peacemakers (Mt.5:9) and calls the church to be a reconciling presence for the world (2Cor. 5:18-19), breaking down the dividing walls of hostility among people (Eph. 2:13-22) and proclaiming the gospel ofpeace (Eph. 6:15),

Whereas violence takes many forms – on the streets, in schools, among family members, in our communities, through the media, and between nations – exposing a toxic “culture of violence,”

Whereas twenty Nobel Peace Laureates presented the appeal “for the children of the world” calling for a decade-long effort “to teach the practical meaning and benefits of nonviolence in our daily lives in order to reduce violence and … build a new culture of nonviolence,

Whereas The United Nations General Assembly has adopted the Nobel Peace Appeal designating the years 2001-2010 the “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence” and has designated September 19 the International Day of Peace,

Be it resolved that the Dominican Sisters of Houston, Texas, on June 2, 2002

  1. Endorse the implementation of the Nobel Laureates’ appeal for a Decade of Nonviolence with special emphasis on children and youth,
  2. Support the Decade of Nonviolence initiatives and agree to become a Decade Partner organization,
  3. Encourage one another in our local settings and ministries to make a priority to teach, practice, and model nonviolence, making use of available resources.
    1. Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR),
    2.  sources suggested by UNICEF (UN Children’s Emergency Fund) and UNESCO’s (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Culture of Peace web site:www.unesco.orn/education/index.shtml
    3. Families against Violence Advocacy Network, and other sources
  4. Through conversation and the sharing of information, encourage other groups with whom we work to join this international effort “For the Children of the World.”

DOMINICAN SISTERS OF HOUSTON CORPORATE STANCE ON IRAQ

We, the Dominican Sisters of Houston, stand with the Iraq Coordinating Committee and Dominicans throughout the world in calling upon the United States government to establish a plan and timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

Our hearts go out to all who have been victimized by this war; therefore, this withdrawal must ensure the safety of ourarmed forces and all Iraqis. The withdrawal should include the closure of any military bases that have been establishedby the United States.

The United States must make the rebuilding of the Iraqi infrastructure and environmental restoration priorities and must commit to the rebuilding of Iraq utilizing Iraqi labor. We call upon the United States to collaborate with the United Nations and the international community to work with the Iraqi government on issues of national security and humanitarian aid. We urge the U.N. and Iraqi government to protect the rights of women and religious minorities.

As women of faith, we recognize this conflict needs our prayers. We pray for the people of Iraq, the U.S. occupying forces, and the Iraqi and international troops. We also pray for the humanitarian workers and the political leaders of the U.S. and Iraq as they work toward peace.

Adopted 6/4/06

DOMINICAN SISTERS OF HOUSTON CORPORATE POSITION ON NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

The Dominican Sisters of Houston, Texas, call upon the United States government to lead the way for the global abolition of nuclear and all weapons of mass destruction by adopting a plan to lock down, reduce, and eliminate nuclear and all weapons of mass destruction.

We call for the immediate development, adoption, and implementation of a plan that will ensure that there will be no new nuclear weapons, no new materials for nuclear weapons, and no testing of nuclear weapons.

We will work with all people of good will until there is no chance that a nuclear weapon or other weapon of mass destruction can come into the hands of anyone wishing to do harm.

Adopted: June 3, 2007