U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph Condemns Tree of Life Slaughter

The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph joins with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and countless groups and individuals across the country and in Pittsburgh to condemn the slaughter of our brothers and sisters at Tree of Life Congregation in the community of Squirrel Hill.

Condemnation alone cannot bring change. Our mission as Sisters of St. Joseph, which calls us to unite neighbor to neighbor and neighbor to God, reminds us that we build community by being the neighbor to the one we don’t know: the person next door, the person who works with us, the stranger we meet on the street. It is only by breaking down our own barriers of comfort and isolation that we can begin to understand and appreciate those whose religion, race, gender or lifestyle is different than our own.

Please find our full statement attached to this email or here on our website. For this statement, we are encouraging everyone to individually consider these questions:

  • Be attentive to our own implicit biases.  Who are the individuals/groups we avoid?
  • Have we taken the time to learn about the religious practices of other faiths? Have we ever attended a service at a synagogue or mosque?
  • How do we respond if someone uses a racial slur when referring to another race or religious group?