Statement on George Floyd and Racial Injustice

The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd in the USA, the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, and the Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office raise our voices in outrage and sorrow over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. We are sounding the alarm and we will not rest until the impact of white supremacy, racism, hatred and indifference is acknowledged and extinguished.

We pray for the family of George Floyd and for everyone struggling with his senseless death, especially those living in communities of color who also live in fear. And we pray for the police officers who must live with the results of their actions.

We feel the pain that the use of violence and force have inflicted on the Black community. Since 1835, our international Congregation, with the support of lay staff, has established social service ministries in 70 countries operating shelters, community centers, immigrant and refugee support services, safe houses, counseling, schools and training centers. We work in multicultural environments. We know the social sin of racism. We stand for inclusion without distinction of faith, race or gender.

Our commitment to reconciliation demands that we promote justice and peace.

We call on elected officials and entire communities across this nation to boldly acknowledge ways in which we demean or deny people of their human dignity and rights – and to address ways to repair and redress the injustices.

We implore members of our criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies to pursue accountability and realistic alternatives to the use of deadly force.

We support police training that places as its overarching principle the respect for every individual and that seeks to reduce the dangerous fear of law enforcement experienced by people of color.

We urge the law enforcement community to embrace counseling and anger management services and integrate these therapies into the resources and culture of the job.

Let us raise the consciousness of all people and give voice to the searing pain of racial inequality and disdain. Let us see the change that is needed. Let us act for the dignity of every person, no matter his or her color.

Our Foundress, Saint Mary Euphrasia wrote,
“Correct with kindness and love but also with zeal and holy freedom. If you do not speak out, if you do not sound the alarm when it is needed, you will be justly convicted by your silence.”

U.S. Conference of Provincials

Sr. Francisca Aguillón, RGS
U.S. Province Leader
Central South Province

Sr. Maureen McGowan, RGS
U.S. Province Leader
New York/Toronto Province

Sr. Madeleine Munday, RGS
U.S. Province Leader
Mid-North America Province

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC, United Nations

Sr. Winifred Doherty, RGS Main NGO Representative to the United Nations Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

Lawrence E. Couch