Our MinistryDirections

Holding to our Congregation Constitution and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, we stand in solidarity with all peoples, recognizing the bond of interdependence among us. Our Directions in Ministry, Statements, Stances, and Commitments guide our congregation in setting guidelines, priorities, and investment decisions that have far-reaching effects.

Chapter 2018 Direction


We pledge to hold the needs and concerns of all in a contemplative space, in the heart of a loving and ever faithful God.

Ministry Directions

Our directions in ministry since 1984 have been to...

Corporate Stances, Commitments, Statements

Statement: Against Racism, Hatred, Violence 2015


The Leadership Team in 2015, affirming our 1999 Direction Statement on Racism, issued the following statement:

The Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids condemn racism. Hate and discrimination diminish us all. We grieve with the citizens of Charlottesville and with all of us who are also harmed by racist words and actions anywhere. We mourn with those who have lost loved ones, with all who live in fear, and with all whose dignity is threatened by hate and violence.

The Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids stand against harmful rhetoric and actions that result in fear and evoke hatred in our cities and neighborhoods. Racism afflicts our country. Any conversation or activity that contributes to division, hatred, violence, or disrespect of another human being hurts all of us as a human family. We pray that people relate to each other with dignity and respect.

We, as Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids, see first the common ground of our humanity, and allow our differences only to enrich, and not to disparage. In all of our undertakings, we will notice first and foremost the human person before us. (DSGR Statement Against Racism 1999)

DSGR Statement Racism Hate Violence 2017 EnglishSpanish

Corporate Stance: Unaccompanied Children on the Border 2014


We recognize, as a moral obligation, the need to protect children fleeing violence or oppression in their homelands. We commit ourselves to act as their advocates in local, national, and international communities. Two of the strategies to accomplish this are to advocate for government policies that protect the health and wellbeing of children, particularly in providing them access to status as asylum seekers, and to collaborate with others in the education, economic, ecclesial, social, and legal communities to assure the safety and security of children. (Read entire Stance)

Corporate Stance: Nuclear Disarmament 2007


We call upon the United States government to lead the way for global abolition of nuclear and all weapons of mass destruction by adopting a plan to lock down, dismantle, reduce, and eliminate nuclear and all weapons of mass destruction. We believe all creation, including Earth itself, to be sacred and we stand in witness to the triumph of life over death, love over hatred, and hope over fear.

Commitment: Ending Homelessness in Kent County 2006


Our commitment is to collaborate with the Grand Rapids Coalition to End Homelessness in their efforts to end homelessness in Kent County through ongoing efforts to increase awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness, and through personal and systemic ways that contribute to its eradication.

We commit to: Educate ourselves and others about the ongoing realities of homelessness — problems, concerns reasons for homelessness in our county and how it affects people and families; engage in the work of empowering families to grow and succeed by helping families through personal support while they are getting back on their feet after an episode of homelessness; and find ways to be personally engaged with people who are homeless while finding ways to raise awareness about the plight of people living on the margins.

Corporate Stance: Endorsement of the Earth Charter 2005


The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st Century. It seeks to inspire in all peoples a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the wellbeing of the human family and the larger living world. It is an expression of hope and a call to help create a global partnership at a critical juncture in history. We aspire to the principals found in the Earth Charter. By endorsing the Charter, we challenges ourselves to deepen our commitment to its principles and place ourselves in solidarity with people throughout the world who seek to live the values the principles embody.

Read more about our Congregation’s Care of Earth positions, partners, and initiatives.

Corporate Stance: Moratorium Support on Genetically Modified Foods 2004


We support a moratorium on the planting of genetically engineered crops pending environmental and human safety studies. Until such time as this technology is proven safe, all foods containing genetically engineered ingredients should be labeled.

Corporate Stance: Against War in Iraq 2002


We declare ourselves to be opposed to our country making preemptive strike against Iraq, taking us into an immoral and unjustified war. We further oppose the continuation of sanctions against Iraq that continue to impose genocidal suffering against helpless people. (Corporate Stance Against Iraq War)

Corporate Stance: Ending the Death Penalty 2001


Our stance commits to make public proclamations for life when and where they are needed and to preach the justice of our commitment. We will be called upon to work in coalition with other groups, to speak out at times of executions, to promote study and prayer in places of our ministry, as well as among ourselves, and to call each other to needed and creative responses.

Corporate Stance: Against Racism 1999


We believe that the normative, common element in the human family is our humanity. We affirm that all with whom we come in contact are entitled to the basic rights that come with our common humanity, and be entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. We pledge to see first the common ground of our humanity, and to allow our differences only to enrich, and not to disparage us. In all of our undertakings, we will notice first and foremost the human person before us.

Our Boycott History (21st Century)

  • Apartheid South Africa Boycott Coco Cola 1986 — In solidarity with the people of South America denied their human rights, especially their right to vote, we chose to boycott Coco Cola, a major symbol of US corporate involvement in that country’s apartheid system of government.


  • Grape Boycott 1980 — In solidarity with the United Farm Workers Union, we joined the on-going boycott of grapes in support of farmworkers denied their freedom to bargain in good faith for fair compensation and benefits.


  • Boycott of Select product from RJR Nabisco, parent company of Phillip Morris Tobacco 1997 — Joining INFACT, a non-partisan, national membership organization mobilizing people around the world in grassroots campaigns, we pledge to boycott at least two products from these companies during the duration of the international effort to force Phillip Morris and RJR Nabisco from advertising and promoting smoking among children and young people across the world.


  • Styrofoam Boycott 1983 — Having formed our Care of the Earth Commitment, we pledged, among a variety of other ways to care for Mother Earth, to divest of our use of Styrofoam products personally and in our Marywood Campus.Styrofoam Boycott 1983

How do the Sisters determine stances, direction statements, and commitments?


Note: Full text of our Directions, stances, and commitments can be requested from the Congregation Justice Promoter or Archives.

As we take inventory of the condition of our world, we raise our voices to say that the people among us who are the most in need, who are most vulnerable, need to have our attention and they need to have supportive resources. We pledge to hold the needs and concerns of all in a contemplative space, in the heart of a loving and ever faithful God. We recommit ourselves to the Gospel call to welcome the stranger, care for creation, establish economic justice, abolish every form of modern-day slavery, and promote non-violence and just peace– and we pledge to continue to work together with all people of good will to build God’s beloved community in this place we call home.

A corporate stance is our Congregation’s public response to an issue of basic human rights, civil rights, and/or global concern. Sisters may propose a stances to redress an injustice, which is then put through an established process of study, reflection, prayer, discussion and vote. When approved by at least two-thirds of the Sisters, these positions are shared with the public as a way to witness to our faith and our discipleship in Jesus and to educate and provide support to address the injustice. Our Constitution and many Church documents support our active involvement in response to injustices. Since this process was adopted nearly twenty years ago, the Congregation has also developed commitments and statements that reflect application of our values to critical issues of our world and time.

Direction Statements guide our congregation in setting guidelines, priorities, and investment decisions that have far-reaching effects. As Christians and as Dominicans, we are called to:

  • Be concerned for the common good, as demanded by the social conditions of each historical period;
  • Respect the gift that creation is to us;
  • Respect the right of all humans to use the goods of creation in a spirit of stewardship;
  • Stand in solidarity with all peoples, recognizing the bond of interdependence among us.

Holding to these principles of Catholic Social Teaching, we accept the challenge to examine the causes of deprivation and injustice that exist at home and around the world by:

  • Working at the systemic level to eradicate the cause of the deprivation and the injustice, and
  • Striving to eliminate or lessen misery that results from deprivation and injustice.