Corporate Stance on Immigration
In April of 2018, the Sisters of the Presentation and associates affirmed a corporate stance supporting “the implementation of a just and comprehensive immigration policy for the United States that includes a broad-based legalization of currently undocumented persons, providing them a path to citizenship.” A corporate stance is a public statement agreed upon by a majority of the vowed members of the congregation.
The history of the Dubuque congregation began in 1874 with the emigration of Mother Vincent Hennessy and her three companions from Ireland. The women came in response to the invitation of Bishop Hennessy who was concerned for the educational needs of recent immigrants to the Diocese of Dubuque. Thus began a long history of education and service to immigrant families. Today, because our sisters and brothers in so many places of the world need protection, there is an added demand to offer radical hospitality through just and humane immigration policies. Scripture admonishes us: “You shall not wrong or oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of the stranger, since you were strangers in the Land of Egypt.” Exodus 23:9
Pope Francis reminds us, “When we turn our gaze to migrants and refugees, we discover that they do not arrive empty-handed. They bring their courage, skills, energy and aspirations, as well as the treasures of their own cultures; and in this way, they enrich the lives of the nations that receive them.”
The immigration corporate stance summons sisters and associates to make their communities a place of radical hospitality toward immigrants and refugees in both prayer and action.
Public Statement on Immigration - February 21, 2017
The founding members of the Sisters of the Presentation from Ireland migrated to Dubuque, Iowa in 1874. These sisters ministered to immigrants in Dubuque County and later the community expanded this ministry throughout the United States. Today, we continue to serve immigrants and with Pope Francis and the U.S. Catholic Bishops, we pray, stand with and serve individuals who are most vulnerable in our society.
We agree with the U.S. Catholic Bishops that our immigration system is broken and is in urgent need of reform. We join with Pope Francis in calling for the building of “bridges not walls.” We believe that we are following God’s vision when we welcome the stranger and care for the most vulnerable among us.
We are deeply troubled by executive orders that ban refugees, deport individuals, separate families and strip them of their human dignity. These actions are not in keeping with the best of our American tradition of welcoming. "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, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" We urge President Trump and all elected officials to build bridges and work for comprehensive immigration reform.
Leadership Team of the Sisters of the Presentation, Dubuque, IA
Justice Promoters of the Sisters of the Presentation, Dubuque, IA