Ministries: Peace & Justice Education

Working for Peace and Justice

At our Chapter meeting, June 2018, the Yankton Benedictine Sisters chose to focus on the issues of human trafficking and racism for our peace and justice efforts for 2018–2019. The Social Justice Committee was asked to assist with these choices, as the community continues its education and discusses possible actions. As we educate ourselves on issues of diversity, we will share this with you, our readers, and we ask for your prayerful support.

How we got started

The Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery have always had a heart for the underprivileged. (Read more about our history.) We have been active in meeting many needs — from serving on Boards of local agencies to serving meals to the hungry. Nationally, Catholic Sisters have been in the forefront of speaking out on issues of justice. Information from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses (CBP) can be found on this page.

In 2016, the Monastic Council distributed a questionnaire about social justice areas that we at Sacred Heart Monastery as a community would be interested in focusing on 2016–2017. As a community we decided to focus on human trafficking and the Death Penalty. The Social Justice Committee was asked to assist with these choices in educating ourselves, bringing the issues to prayer, and discerning what actions we might take.

We share some of what we have learned on this web page. We encourage others to become educated about this national and state problem, to be aware of one’s surroundings and those who are suspicious, and to get involved in helping stop this crime. Click here to read more about how Sacred Heart Monastery Sisters have raised awareness on Human Trafficking Issues. Below, the Social Justice committee is posting information that they have found helpful and sharing some of the projects we are working on. We hope that this will help you to grow in awareness of these issues.

Death Penalty

Bill passes SD House, Killed in Senate Judiciary committee

February 20, 2018 — House Bill 1123. The purpose of this bill is to prohibit persons suffering from a severe mental illness from receiving capital punishment. The entire bill can be read on-line. After passing the South Dakota House, the bill was “defered to the 41st day of the 40 day legislative session” by a 5 to 2 vote of the Senate Judiciary committee. We wish to thank South Dakota Alternatives to the Death Penalty and all who worked for this measure, our Representatives Hunhoff and Stevens, and especially Senators Kennedy and Rusch who supported it in committee. God bless all of you involved in this effort!

Human Trafficking

We share some of what we have learned on this web page. We encourage others to become educated about this national and state problem, to be aware of one’s surroundings and those who are suspicious, and to get involved in helping stop this crime. Click here to read more about how Sacred Heart Monastery Sisters have raised awareness on Human Trafficking Issues. Below, the Social Justice committee is posting information that they have found helpful and sharing some of the projects we are working on. We hope that this will help you to grow in awareness of these issues.

Here are webpages that tell the story of human trafficking cases uncovered in South Dakota in the past 8 years.

Statistics from the National Trafficking Hotline (2012–2018)
Stories from South Dakota Public Radio (SF Trafficker convicted, 2014)
Archival reports from KDLT (Rapid City sting, 2018)
Watertown Initiative to Prevent Sex Trafficking
Trafficking in Sioux Falls (2015 article — Capital Journal)
Labor Trafficking story, Oacoma, SD (2007)
Pheasant Hunting and Sex Trafficking, Dallas, SD (2018-Argus Leader)
Trafficking of Native Women (2018- Argus Leader)
Why are Native Women Vanishing? (2018, AP, Omaha World Herald)
Vatican Handbook on Human Trafficking 2019
Human Trafficking is Prevalent Even in Rural Nebraska (2018 Holt Independent)

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We are Benedictine women of Yankton, SD, sharing our gift of seeking God through prayer, work, study and community life.

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Sacred Heart Monastery

Sacred Heart Monastery

We are Benedictine women of Yankton, SD, sharing our gift of seeking God through prayer, work, study and community life.

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