There must be
Home | Sisters | Associates | Friars | Laity | Nuns | Link to Groups | World OP | DLC
Care of Creation
Culture of Peace
Global Partnership

Find my Representative
in the
US House
US Senate

Contact the White House

To open a PDF document, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader,Click the icon follow the prompts. It is free, safe and secure.

Finding a Voice for Justice: A Reflection on the 10th Anniversary of the First Voices for Veritas Delegation to Iraq
Beth Murphy, OP (Springfield)

Iraqi childrenIn 1999, the first U.S. Dominicans travelled to Iraq in solidarity with the people of that country who, by that time, had endured nine years of economic sanctions imposed by the UN at the start of what we now refer to as “The First Gulf War.” A burgeoning relationship with our Iraqi Dominican sisters and brothers was the great gift of that first delegation. Two more delegations followed in 2000 and 2001.

Each delegation meant deeper ties with the Iraqi Dominican Family. By the spring of 2002 Sisters Rihab Mousa and Luma Khudher were living in the U.S., and the U.S. and Iraqi Dominicans were on their way to forging the inseparable bonds that now bind us to one another so deeply. Iraqi Dominican Sisters and Friars have become familiar, warmly welcomed guests in convents and priories around the U.S. Seven Iraqi Dominican sisters are living in the U.S. (in addition to Rihab and Luma, Diana Momeka, Aman Miriam Mansoor, Nadia Shamees, Maryan Khume and, Ban Madleen Saeed), all preparing for the day when they can return to their home and begin serving as ministers of healing in a land torn by unspeakable violence and injustice.

I have familyThese relationships, with the sisters here and with their community around the world, are the life-blood of the Iraq Coordinating Committee, which was called into being in the midst of the Voices for Veritas delegations in order to communicate within the Order and beyond it about the impact of U.S. policy on the human beings we have come to know as our family in Iraq. The U.S. Dominican voice is recognized by public officials and policy makers as authoritative on issues facing the U.S. in its relationship with Iraq, because our Iraqi sisters and brothers have spoken to us as friends, in their voices. The “I have family in Iraq” button campaign, multiple political advocacy initiatives, countless speaking engagements by members of the delegations and by Iraqi Dominicans living or visiting in the U.S., as well as many other local grassroots efforts, have all contributed to the national and international discourse on Iraq.

Lent, this 40-day retreat in preparation for the celebration of that Easter-empty tomb is a good time to reflect on how we’ve been changed because, for ten years now, we’ve been privileged to hear the voices of our Iraqi sisters and brothers. How have we, as individuals, as congregations and provinces, and as an Order of Preachers, found our voices, because our Iraqi family has been humble enough to speak to us in theirs? What is different about the way we pray, speak, teach and preach?

Beth Murphy, OP (Springfoeld

Share your comments here

Back to Lenten Reflections Page