In Service to Life, All Life
The Sisters of Providence describe our purpose as honoring Divine Providence and furthering God’s loving plans by devoting ourselves to works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people. These works are undertaken in service to all life and care for all creation.
Our recent proclamation, to join Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform, expresses the scope of life which we serve: Life of people, plants, animals and planet. It is our commitment to this integrated, or integral ecology, that calls us to use the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization as an opportunity to reflect on just what it means to stand in support of all life and all lives.
As a nation, we are sorely in need of dialogue and action toward creating conditions under which all life can flourish. This requires a comprehensive view of supporting life: Sound economic, political and social policies that address systemic racism and implement corrective actions to bring the entire community of people and planet into balance and equity.
As engaged Catholic citizens we call on all people of faith, and especially our Catholic companions, to advocate for comprehensive legislative reform that supports the thriving of all life: Life on death row; life of families with children in dire poverty; the lives of differently abled persons, immigrants, persons with chronic mental illness and so forth.
This is the work of honoring Divine Providence and forming the Beloved Community. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin articulated the consistent ethic of life during his 1983 Gannon Lecture at Fordham University. (This address can be found here.) He was “convinced that the pro-life position of the church must be developed in terms of a comprehensive and consistent ethic of life.”
What steps can we take to defend the life and dignity of all, including unborn children, immigrant children and children at risk of gun violence, as well as women facing difficult pregnancies, poverty, discrimination and lack of social support and economic means to raise a child? Advancing laws and policies that support the entire community brings Cardinal Bernardin’s desire for a “consistent ethic of life” front and center. As People of Providence, we are committed to partnering with God and others on this journey toward the Beloved Community and a world that acts out of love, mercy and justice.
The Leadership Team of the Sisters of Providence
Sisters Dawn Tomaszewski, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Laura Parker, Anne Therese Falkenstein and Carole Kimes