IMMACULATA, Pa. – The Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore and three Immaculate Heart of Mary congregations have publicly pledged to fight racism, acknowledging “that the dynamics of racism influenced our beginnings and impacted the unfolding of our four histories.”
“Racism led to barriers of separation among us for over a century,” they said in a joint statement prepared for formal release on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 21.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary congregations are those based in Monroe, Mich., and Scranton and Immaculata in Pennsylvania.
The four congregations have a combined membership of more than 2,000.
“We commit ourselves to the work of undoing racism,” their statement said. “By participating in the process of creating right relationships, healing and reconciliation, we are determined to eradicate racism within ourselves, our congregations, our church and our global community.”
The statement grew out of meetings of the Oblate/IHM Committee on Racism formed by the four congregations in 2002.
The committee was established to help the congregations share the richness of their congregational histories but also explore how the dynamics of racism affected those histories and how they could address the sin of racism and work for changes to combat it.