School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province adopt corporate stance on comprehensive immigration reform

The School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province have adopted a corporate stance on comprehensive immigration reform:

We Stand in SolidarityWe, the School Sisters of Notre Dame of the Central Pacific Province, who are committed to transforming the world through education, believe in the dignity of each human person made in the image and likeness of God. We stand in solidarity with our immigrant sisters and brothers. With the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops we support comprehensive immigration reform for the United States that includes a path to earned legalization, family reunification, worker protections, due process protections, and an effective humane border policy.

The constitution of the SSND calls us to “work actively, especially in our local situations, to eliminate the root causes of injustice in order to realize a world of peace, justice, and love.” (“You Are Sent” Constitution #17) Pope Francis also calls us to welcome and support our immigrant brothers and sisters. In an address to the Diplomatic Corp earlier this year he said, “With regard to migrants, displaced persons and refugees, a common commitment is needed, one focused on offering them a dignified welcome.”

The history of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States is inextricably connected to the immigrant experience. SSNDs initially came to the U.S. as immigrants to respond to the educational needs of German immigrants. For 170 years, we have served immigrant communities through education and other ministries.

Today we have numerous sisters ministering in immigrant communities through formal education or ESL programs, outreach efforts and housing programs, social and mental health services, organizing and advocacy, and, pastoral care in parishes and detention centers. We witness firsthand the effects our country’s inadequate and broken immigration system. We are dismayed by the negative rhetoric that has grown into deepening xenophobia.

Given the fact the world is facing its most substantial migration and refugee crisis since World War II, the need to take action is more important than ever. If we want a country that treats every person with dignity, assures the protection of families, fixes the family visa backlog, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy, we need comprehensive immigration reform.

Adoption of a corporate stance on comprehensive immigration reform not only permits us to stand as one on this important and pressing issue of human dignity, but also provides direction and structure for education, reflection and action on this critical concern. By its nature, a corporate stance is a public commitment to act, which will foster greater accountability to ourselves, our donors and friends, and ultimately, our immigrant sisters and brothers.

As School Sisters of Notre Dame of the Central Pacific Province we commit:

  • to affirm the richness and life-giving potential of our multicultural reality;
  • to educate ourselves in order to sift through the myths and facts about immigrants and refugees as well as the real causes of economic and social unrest that lead to migration;
  • to oppose legislation and policies that deny basic human rights to immigrants and refugees, be they documented or undocumented;
  • to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform and for policies that address the root causes of forced migration involving economic, environmental, and social injustices;
  • to challenge local policies and practices that promote or perpetuate racial bias; while also learning about and confronting our issues of racial bias and our complicity in supporting/maintaining racially discriminating practices;
  • to find new and unsuspected ways of being in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters, such as supporting a refugee family, hosting an immigrant/refugee welcoming dinner, supporting rapid response teams;
  • to help our local communities, churches, towns, and villages to be safe and welcoming places for immigrants and refugees by:
    1. continuing our ministerial commitment to immigrants and refugees in our local areas and helping with such things as food, clothing, housing, and humanitarian aid;
    2. providing education on comprehensive immigration reform and promoting advocacy;
    3. praying for unity and justice in our rich diversity.

Together in unity, with this corporate stance, we affirm our commitment to welcome, stand with, support and love our immigrant sisters and brothers. We pray that you will join us in the journey.


School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100


© 2022 School Sisters of Notre Dame