Skip to main content
DSGR icon

Vowed religious are called to be witnesses to what we see in the world around us. The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids share the concern expressed in this statement and are grateful for the witness of our vowed sisters and brothers in faith.

On February 14, the leaders of the women’s religious communities in the Northwest United States, along with several Bishops in the Northwest region are deeply troubled by the escalating war between Israel and Hamas after the horrifying attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

We deplore the violence of the Hamas attack against Israel, just as we deplore the disproportionate violence against Palestinians in Gaza with months of indiscriminate bombing by Israeli forces — all while medical and humanitarian assistance are withheld from innocent civilians. More recently, the widening of the conflict, as additional nations from the Middle East and the West become involved, is of great concern. Besides the terrifying destruction caused by attacks on both sides, there has been a significant increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia throughout the world, which exacerbates the sin of racism and ignores the dignity of the human person.

As Catholics, we pray for a peaceful end to the war in Israel and Gaza, which is destroying innocent lives and devastating families, and invite all people of faith to pray and advocate for a peaceful resolution. We call for a humanitarian cease-fire, knowing that the continued fighting will not resolve the root causes of this relentless cycle of violence but, instead, sow seeds of intergenerational hatred and animosity. We also fervently pray for the immediate release of all hostages and for everyone who is suffering due to the inhumanities and violence inflicted by this war.

Peace is needed now. Accountability rather than retribution is needed now. Language that speaks of peace and reconciliation without words of violence and vengeance is needed now.

We urge a return to negotiating a two-state solution and call on the international community to reengage in active and sustained support for a just and lasting peace. We also urge the United Nations and relevant authorities to investigate all war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law committed on October 7, 2023, and beyond, as well as those committed in retaliation in the ensuing months, so that truth prevails, and accountability is ensured.

Finally, we call on all parties to fulfill the requirements for peace expressed by Pope Francis in his 2020 Peace Day statement: “Peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation. They can be achieved only on the basis of a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation in the
service of a future shaped by interdependence and shared responsibility in the whole human family of today and tomorrow.”

Spreading the Peace of Christ, the original signatores of this joint statement include: Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province; Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary; U.S. Ontario Province Leadership Team; Sisters of St. Benedict, Lacey, WA; Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia; Dominican Sisters of Adrian, MI; Dominican Sisters of Tacoma, WA; Leadership Team Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace; Most Rev. Paul D. Etienne, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle; Most Rev. Eusebio Elizondo, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle; Most Rev. Frank Schuster, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle; Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson, Bishop of Yakima; Most Rev. Jeffrey Fleming, Bishop of Great Falls – Billings.