MILWAUKEE – A letter to the president, urging a more compassionate approach to world and planetary action, was approved by 1,100 Sisters of St. Joseph on July 11 during a meeting of the United States Federation in Milwaukee. More than 300 Sisters of St. Joseph, who are members of this Federation, live and minister in St. Paul.
The letter reads:
"Nearly 1,100 U.S. Sisters of Saint Joseph and Associates are meeting at the Midwest Airlines Conference Center in Milwaukee. We are joined by more than 60 sisters from Latin America, Canada, Europe, India, Japan, Africa, Egypt and Australia. The mission of the sisters is one of unity, reconciliation and witnessing to God’s active inclusive love. Fundamental to our mission is the belief that all life is interconnected in the global neighborhood, and that decisions we make now affect not only the present, but also future generations.
"We are compelled to speak publicly to you as we find ourselves in Milwaukee at the same time and place.
"As we meet with our sisters from across the country and across the world, we are keenly aware of the common human and spiritual aspirations that unite us all. We know ourselves as connected and interdependent across all borders. As we consider the neighborhoods in which we live and minister, we are alert to the effects of policies and actions that cause enormous suffering for the people with whom we minister and people all over the world.
"Such policies have far reaching, costly and unacceptable implications for the peoples of the world and for the planet we call home. We strongly oppose the policies of your administration that continue the war in Iraq, that violate human rights along our borders, that intensify poverty, that pollute our earth, and that deny our interdependence with all peoples.
"Committed to relationships grounded in compassion and love, we call upon you and your administration to change your policies and practices. We urge you to work for peaceful solutions to world problems, promote economics that serve humanity, strive for relationships characterized by mutuality rather than power, cooperation rather than competition, and respect rather than fear.
"Only in this way will we achieve the peace, justice, and freedom which will enable all the peoples of the earth to live in dignity and security.
"Therefore, Mr. President, this afternoon as you arrive in Milwaukee, we will pause for a time of silent prayer, join together in a dance of universal peace, and pray for continual conversion of your heart.
"Eleven hundred strong, we will pray that you will come to value the global neighborhood and promote a viable future for all its creatures. As voting citizens of the United States of America, we expect you to represent and support the deep convictions expressed in this letter."
For more information on the Sisters of St. Joseph, visit www.csjstpaul.org.