Peace & Justice

Sinsinawa Dominicans march for just immigration reform in the United States.
Sinsinawa Dominicans march for just immigration reform in the United States. Pictured from left are Srs. Catherine Houtakker, Reg McKillip, Liz Sully, Alice Ann Byrne, Rosemary Empen, and Robi Huddleston.

For St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order, the Gospel was the standard against which everything else was to be measured. We are called to be in touch with the needs, hopes, desires, and aspirations of those with whom we share this planet. Dedication to truth and the study required to know truth plunge us directly into issues affecting our society and Church.

St. Catherine of Siena was a Dominican who took risks. She also was known for her direct service: taking care of the sick, looking out for the destitute, and demonstrating no patience with anything that compromised the truth. Through Catherine, we are rooted in risk taking, peacemaking, and service.

Nearly 300 years after the arrival of the first Dominicans in the Western Hemisphere, Sinsinawa Dominican founder Father Samuel Mazzuchelli continued to sow his new homeland with the tradition of justice. Mazzuchelli acted on behalf of those without access to power. He once said, “One who carries the word of truth ought to imitate the Divine Teacher who went about doing good by relieving the oppressed.”

Structural Roots

During the 1970s and 1980s, there was an increasing focus by Sinsinawa Dominicans on the root causes of injustice. In 1982, the Sisters called for coordination of peace and justice efforts at the congregation level. In 1983, the Office of Peace and Justice was established and a Promoter of Peace & Justice was named.

The promoter assists with study and social analysis relevant to global, national, and local issues; calls congregation members to action on behalf of justice issues; and supports congregation justice committees.

Justice groups which continued or began during these years included the Sinsinawa Network on Women’s Issues, the Faith and Resistance Working Group, the Alternative Investment Advisory Committee, the Shareholder and Consumer Action Advisory Committee, the Restorative Justice Committee, and the AntiRacism Transformation Team.

Continuing the Tradition

Currently, Sister Joy Peterson, PBVM, is Promoter of Peace and Justice.
She can be contacted at
The Sinsinawa Dominican Office of Peace and Justice
585 County Road Z
Sinsinawa, WI 53824-9701
(608) 748-4411
opjustice@aol.com

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