CONVENT STATION, NJ – The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth of Convent Station, New Jersey have voted to take a Congregation Public Stand Against Racism. After a year-long process of reflection, prayer and study on racism, the Sisters expressed their commitment in the following statement:
As Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, we strive to be deeply aware of the inherent value of the human person, the image of God. We acknowledge that, in what we have done and what we have failed to do, we have been complicit, as individuals and as a Congregation, in the sin of racism. We ask pardon of the God of Boundless Charity and of the people who have been harmed in any way by our racist attitudes and actions. As we move forward in mission, we commit ourselves
- to become an anti-racist Congregation and to promote anti-racism in our communities and ministries.
- to challenge the structural racism in our society and to educate and advocate for policies that redress this ongoing injustice.
- to enrich ourselves through contact with the marvelous diversity of human cultures.
- to bring an anti-racist lens to our work on other issues of justices, peace, and the integrity of creation.
- to pray that God’s dream of a world where every person can flourish will be realized.
Sister Maureen Shaughnessy, SC, General Superior of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth remarked, “Like all people of good will, the Sisters of Charity are deeply concerned about the enduring legacy of racism in American culture. By this Public Stand we commit ourselves and our ministries to joining with others in the antiracist transformation of our society.”
The Sisters of Charity, the Seton Associates, and their partners in mission, will use this statement to guide their ongoing efforts to educate about racism and to advocate for legislation and policies that will address racial inequity in our social, cultural, and political institutions.
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The Sisters of Charity were founded by Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac, in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1809. In 1859, Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan founded the New Jersey community known as the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth. Today the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth are engaged in education, health care, pastoral and social service ministries in 13 dioceses within the United States, El Salvador and Haiti. The Congregation currently numbers 187 vowed members. The Seton Associate relationship has 300 affiliated lay and religious women and men.