The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph congratulates the president-elect and recommits to building God’s “Beloved Community.” As members of the Federation, we join them in this public statement:
The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph joins with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and promise to work with them to build a society worthy of the values to which our imperfect union aspires.
We pray — as Sisters of St. Joseph and their partners — dedicated to the mission of healing and reconciliation, to repair the fractured relationships that have divided us during this difficult election season and reclaim our essential unity as a nation.
The people of this pluralistic nation form a diverse community characterized by different beliefs, experiences, and interests. We know that our differences can be our greatest strengths; our disagreements, opportunities to seek the truth. Our challenge is to embrace those differences and together seek the common good lest we rend the bonds that unite us.
Our Gospel mandate as Sisters of St. Joseph is to unite neighbor to neighbor and neighbor to God. Now is the time to make space in our hearts and our communities for the needs and concerns of all God’s people, the undocumented mother, the Midwest farmer, the unemployed steelworker, the suburban businesswoman, and the children and elders consigned to live in poverty. It is time to tear down the walls — real or imagined — which divide us by gender, race, class, geography, lifestyle, ideology, political party, and religious belief and to make room in our body politic for all who have been disaffected, disenfranchised, and discarded.
Now is the time to banish the fear that infects our souls and diminishes our hope. There is no room in this nation for fear of the other; no need to fear change; no reason to fear the future. This is a nation built on the dreams of our ancestors and the visions of our children. Our task is to make room at the table for every voice and every vision.
We thank those who turned out in record numbers to exercise their right to vote in a peaceful and respectful way. Their clear commitment to this democratic experiment of ours bodes well for the success of the difficult task that lies ahead.
We know that the work will be slow and arduous, and yet we join with Catholic sisters and their partners across this nation as we renew our commitment to exercise courage in the face of injustice, fear, and division. We will not shrink from the challenge before us to protect the sacredness of all human life, to dismantle white supremacy, welcome the stranger, care for creation, and to stand with those who have been exploited and marginalized by our throwaway culture.
We promise once again to be the healing presence of God. We pledge to hold the needs and concerns of all in the heart of a loving and ever-faithful God. We recommit ourselves to the sacred task of building the “Beloved Community” of which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke so eloquently, and we invite all people of goodwill to join us.