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North American Justice Promoters Meet to Revisit Dominican Call to Action and Update Agenda

ADRIAN, MI July 24, 2006 --The North American Justice Promoters met here this week to revisit the Dominican Call to Action document and to set the agenda for the next three years. Over 28 congregations and provinces attended including representatives from Mexico, Santa Sabina and the United Nations. The meeting was particularly poignant during a visit by three Iraqi Dominicans who are living in Adrian. They spoke to the group about their experience in Iraq.

Dusty Farnan, (Adrian) and Phillippe LeBlanc, OP (Canada) Co-Promoters for North America organized the meeting.

The group heard updates on issues included in the present Dominican Call to Action including immigration, human trafficking and global warming. A theme that ran through the agenda of the meeting was how to integrate the work of the International Dominican Commission for Peace and Justice, which met in France in May. Prakash Lohale, OP, International CoPromoter for Justice attended the meeting and offered suggestions on how to connect globally with the Dominican Family.

Miquel Concha, OP, Promoter of Justice in Latin America spoke on the issues of immigration in Latin America. His talk was translated by Marta Inez Toro, OP (Presentation).

Attracta Kelly, OP (Adrian) who works as an immigration attorney for the North Carolina Justice Center spoke about the complexities involved in legal immigration to the United States. She described the most significant problem is the time it takes migrate legally and offered data that demonstrated tht for some Mexican people, attempts to secure a visa for family members dates back 16 years. “The whole backlog of processing visas is outrageous,” she said.

Kelly was even handed in her criticism of Congress for their lack of meaningful immigration law reform, "It's not like if we get Democrats in, we'll have great immigration reform, she said.”

A moving presentation by three Dominican Sisters from Iraq brought home to the group the devastation and despair in that country, although the sisters expressed an almost unbelievable hope for peace.

"The city of Bahdad is a city of death," said Sr. Diana Momeko. The sisters described the streets as covered in blood, bodies everywhere. Electricity is only available for two hours out of seven. "People are dying everywhere, all we pray for now, is peace," she said.

The three sisters are living in Adrian with the community there. They described their own experience of living through a bomb blast at the Motherhouse and said that even the US soldiers believed it was a miracle that no one was injured in the attack. The community hopes to build a hospital outside of the city of Baghdad where it may be safer.

Sister Chris Matthews (Adrian) takes notes on a brainstorming session.
photo by Erik Gable

Read a newspaper version of this story: Daily Telegram

Editor's Note:
The Dominican Call to Action document was not yet complete in time for posting. will publish it in our next update on August 16.

photo top to bottom:

Chris Matthias and Dusty Farnan, OP confer during the meeting

Marta Inez Toro, OP (Presentation) translates questions for Miguel Concha, OP (Mexico) aftrer his presentation on immigration and labor issues in Latin America.

Attracta Kelly, OP (Adrian) spoke on immigration law in the US.

Members listen to Maria Riley explain the complexities of economic trade agreements related to the Millenium Development Goals.

story and photos: Anne Lythgoe, OP

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