August 3-5, 2020, the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville gathered in Chapter, which is our meeting held every six years to plan for the future and respond to the needs of our community and world.
Tragic events from March to August led us to shift our agenda to respond to them. Our mission statement proclaims in part: “Our mission…cutting across socio-economic, racial and national boundaries, assists [all] to live more fully and develop a personal relationship with God.” Thus, as women of peace since 1535, we renew our commitment to work for peace and justice for all.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare and magnified the growing social and economic disparity between persons who are white and black, rich and poor, employed and unemployed, citizen and migrant, healthy and sick, free and imprisoned, powerful and vulnerable. COVID-19 also exposed a planet whose air, water and soil have been polluted and violated over many years in the name of economic progress.
On the heels of the pandemic in the U.S., police aggression mounted against black and brown civilians, resulting in several deaths. This culminated in the largest global protest of systemic racial injustice in human history. Institutionalized racism could no longer be ignored. Courageous people revealed how white people’s successes had been built on the backs of unempowered black and brown people and centuries of social systems had perpetuated white privilege.
While acknowledging our previous silence and privilege in this unjust system, we commit ourselves now to work to create a more just economic system and a model of development which cares for our common home and provides for the most vulnerable among us. We commit ourselves to dismantling the racism that exists in our own hearts, in our communities, and across the globe.