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Leadership Statement on Keeping Families Together

Note: The following is a statement by the General Council.

We, the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, stand with countless other groups of women and men of all faiths in decrying the separation of children from their parents at the border of the United States as a deterrent to future border crossings. The separation of families is a moral issue about which we cannot be silent, for it violates the core values of love, mercy, and justice on which we stake our mission. Many of the families who are crossing the border are doing so to flee domestic violence or other abuses and have willingly turned themselves into authorities to ask for asylum. Instead, the parents are being prosecuted and their children are being taken from them. To add additional trauma to that already suffered is abhorrent and inhumane.

We beg our legislative and judicial leaders to bring an end to these actions. We entreat those who have been entrusted with authority to use that authority to keep families together and to allow those who are seeking asylum to be able to present their cases. Our Untied States was founded by those seeking freedom from oppression, and Lady Liberty stands as a symbol to those who need refuge.

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.


Let us not write the chapters of history that tell of the merciless, inhumane treatment of families who sought refuge at our borders. Rather, let us stand as a nation, proud of the heritage and legacy that have marked these United States for so many years, and choose our actions to write the chapters of mercy and compassion that have been our hallmark since we were formed more than 200 years ago.

Please join us in speaking out by making your voice heard. Please call your Representative immediately and urge him or her to vote NO on both these immigration bills: Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) Securing America’s Future Act, HR 4760, and Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (no number yet).

You can reach your member of Congress by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-223-3121.

Here is a suggested script:

“Hello, I am a constituent of Representative _______________, and a person of faith. I am asking him/her to vote NO on immigration bills coming up for a vote this week that will restrict legal immigration, split up families, harm children, and promote mass deportation. These bills do not reflect our values. Once again, I urge Representative _____________ to stand up for humane immigration policy and oppose these bills.”

The links that follow may also be helpful in speaking out.

For all women and men who want to take action, click here

For faith leaders, click here

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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