Embracing Faith Through Advocacy – Lights for Liberty


By Katie Beckmann, Communications Manager


This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Advocacy.

On Friday, July 12th, several Blauvelt Dominican Sisters and Associates will gather with Sparkill Dominican Sisters, and other activists to participate in Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps.


The vigil, which was organized by the Rockland County Immigration Coalition will take place between 5 pm to 7 pm at the intersection of Middletown Road and Route 59 in Nanuet, New York.


The goal of this vigil is to bring together Americans and others around the country to protest detention camps, as well as the inhumane conditions faced by refugees.


Blauvelt Dominican Sister and Justice Promoter, Ceil Lavan, OP, views this vigil as a way to show support for refugee rights and respond to the needs of the world, especially of those most vulnerable.


Women religious have been active in advocating for refugee rights. Many Sisters have participated and organized advocacy events throughout the United States, while others have provided shelter for refugees.


The Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York support refugee rights. In response to the October 2018 migrant caravan events, they released a statement to show “solidarity with our brothers and sisters from south of our border who have been forced from their homes by violence and injustice. Hearing their stories, it is evident they have experienced great horror and are just seeking to live and raise their families in peace.” (1)


Sister Ceil, along with the Blauvelt Social Justice Committee, has worked collaboratively with other congregations and organizations to advocate for a variety of issues in keeping with the congregation's Corporate Stances and Dominican Call to Justice.


The Blauvelt Dominican Corporate Stances call for the ban of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) till they are found safe, the prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, end of the Death Penalty, end of Human Trafficking, promotion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and increased efforts to address Climate Change. The congregation also has two collective statements for Women’s Rights and against Violence and War.


To learn more about the Blauvelt Social Justice Committee or the Lights for Liberty Vigil, contact Sister Ceil Lavan at ceilie@aol.com.

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