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Loretto Women’s Network: Affirming Rights of Women

Posted on April 1, 2017, by Mary Nelson CoL

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.”

President Barack Obama

A year ago, the coordinators of LWN (Loretto Women’s Network) believed many of the goals set forth in our Identity Statement had been met.

After all, the first bill signed by President Barack Obama was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which simply stated that, if a male and a female were performing the same work, it followed that the wage should be the same.

Obama shattered another glass ceiling by naming Janet Yellen chairwoman of the Federal Reserve. He persevered to turn gay marriage into marriage.

The Loretto Women’s Network acts to affirm the rights of all women in church and society regardless of their background (racial, ethnic, class or national), age or sexual orientation. Many of these rights seemingly are in jeopardy with the new administration.

Regardless, we are committed to continue with others for the empowerment of women, both nationally and internationally.

Substantive agreements include the following:

• Women are, and of right ought to be, the primary decision-makers in matters of reproduction.

• We support gay/lesbian persons in their struggle for ecclesial and civil rights.

• We commit ourselves to work for the full equality of women and men in all aspects of civil and ecclesial life, including ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and full access to sacramental ministries in church life.

• We strongly oppose all forms of racism and classism in our own Loretto institutions, schools, health-care facilities, etc., and are obligated as any other institution to follow non-sexist policies.

Scripture reminds us, “Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you.” In the near future, we will continue our work with CEDAW, the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Our plans to honor women who have embraced our values will be part of the 2018 Assembly celebration.

We embrace the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, “The path of brotherhood and sisterhood is more precious than any ideology or religion.”

To read the complete LWN Identity Statement, go to the Loretto website www.lorettocommunity.org under “Mission and Work,” then to “Justice and Peace,” then to “Loretto Women’s Network.”


Mary Nelson CoL

Mary has been a Loretto Co-member since 2009. She serves as representative to the CPC from Community Group #7 in New Mexico. After 25 years of volunteer service in a maximum security women's prison she now serves as a coordinator of the Loretto Women's Network. Best of all, two sons have given her eight grandchildren!
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