February 23, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – As the March 5, 2018, deadline for the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) approaches with no immigration legislation in sight, the Adrian Dominican Sisters are joining national Catholic actions on behalf of the young Dreamers.
At stake is the welfare of about 800,000 Dreamers, young U.S. residents who came to the United States as children. Many of the Dreamers, protected by the DACA program, contribute greatly to their communities in the United States and have experienced no other home. President Donald Trump rescinded the DACA program in September 2017, stating that it was up to Congress to pass legislation to protect the Dreamers from deportation by March 5, 2018.
Noting the urgency of the situation for the Dreamers, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called for a Catholic Call-In Day on Monday, February 26. “Our faith compels us to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters,” the USCCB leadership wrote in a statement. “We have done so continually, but we must show our support and solidarity now in a special way. Now is the time for action.” Watch a video produced by the USCCB.
On Monday, Adrian Dominican Sisters, Associates, and Co-workers on the Motherhouse campus are participating in the National Call-in Day for Dreamers. They are asking all concerned citizens to join them in calling their House Representative and two Senators (U.S. Capital Switchboard, 202-224-3121), and Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House (202-225-3031), urging them to protect the Dreamers from deportation, provide a clear and narrow path to citizenship, and avoid damages to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors.
On Tuesday, four Adrian Dominican Sisters will represent the Congregation at a Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., sponsored by a broad coalition of Catholic organizations. Congregation representatives are Sisters Elise D. García, OP, General Councilor; Attracta Kelly, OP, Director of the Congregation’s Immigration Assistance Office; Corinne Sanders, OP; and Heather Stiverson, OP. They will be among several hundred other Catholic Sisters, clergy, and lay leaders standing in solidarity with the Dreamers. The day will begin with a brief press conference, followed by a time of song, prayer, and visits by participants to their elected legislators.
Feature photo: From left, Sisters Elise García, OP, Corinne Sanders,, OP, and Attracta Kelly, OP, receive a blessing at the end of Mass on February 26 for their participation in the Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers in Washington, D.C. on February 27. Also representing the Congregation will be Sister Heather Stiverson, OP, who ministers and resides in Detroit.
October 31, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Branch #3162 of Lenawee County, presented its 2017 Humanitarian Award to the Adrian Dominican Sisters October 22 during its 24th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet.
The theme for the evening was “NAACP: Steadfast and Immovable.”
Sister Elise D. García, OP, and Sister Patricia Harvat, OP, accepted the award on behalf of the Congregation. Both are members of the Congregation’s General Council.
Sister Patricia spoke to the assembly of the work of Sisters and Associates in addressing their own white privilege and internalized racism. She noted the work of St. Dominic to bring about unity and community by preaching the truth and by living in right relationship with self, others, and God. “It is in that spirit of communion that we, your Adrian Dominican Sisters, humbly and gratefully accept this award,” Sister Patricia said.
The award was presented before a crowd of about 175 people, including a table of Adrian Dominican Sisters. The event included a keynote address by State Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Dist. 8) and a presentation by children.
“Every year at our banquet, we honor organizations or people who deserve recognition,” Jeanette Henagan, President of the Lenawee County NAACP, explained in an interview. “This year a member of our executive committee spoke about the Adrian Dominican Sisters and mentioned the different activities, causes, and issues that they address.”
Jeanette cited activities such as intervening on behalf of Dreamers – adults who came to the United States as children and who are seeking protection from deportation and a pathway to citizenship through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was recently rescinded by President Trump. She also noted that the Congregation has donated a building to Share the Warmth – a volunteer-organized shelter for local people who are homeless – and that individual Sisters are involved in a variety of peace and justice issues.
Jeanette noted that the Adrian Dominican Sisters is a longtime supporter of the Lenawee County branch of the NAACP, most recently by granting the NAACP use of the Weber Retreat & Conference Center for its local government candidates forum.
She encouraged Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates to continue their support for NAACP of Lenawee County and to “express their feelings and their stance regarding issues like immigration and racism.”
NAACP of Lenawee County is active in promoting voting rights, educating citizens, addressing complaints regarding discrimination, and organizing forums and meetings between law enforcement officers and the public.
Feature photo: Children offer a special presentation during the 24th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Lenawee County Branch.