Associate Candidate Kelly Litt, Dominican Sisters of Peace, justice promoter wrote this piece for the NACAR newsletter.
“You have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.” -Somali-British poet Warsan Shire
While a student at Ohio Dominican University, I was inspired by the Dominican charism
to preach truth. That inspiration led me to participate in a year of service as a Dominican Volunteer with the Dominican Leadership Conference NGO to the United Nations. One
of my focus areas at the United Nations was the issue of migration. I learned about the impossible decision
individuals made to leave their home, their livelihood, their family, and travel incredible distances while risking being kidnapped, robbed, cheated, stranded, or even traf cked.
Migration has always been an issue that evokes a great deal of emotion within me especially in our current global context where immigrants and refugees are faced with such dire situations that they have no other option but to take dangerous journeys in the hopes of nding a better life. I can’t imagine attempting to make a 1,500 mile journey riding on top of a train, walking 389 miles in the desert, or attempting to survive a three-day-long trip across the Mediterranean Sea in a rubber boat crowded with hundreds of others.
And yet, individuals take these journeys daily. It is incredible, and terrifying, to see how large the issue of migration is and how seemingly interconnected it is to every other justice issue. War, violence, poverty, political instability or repression, lack of access to food, water, and healthcare, discrimination, religious persecution, human rights violations, and climate change are all factors that push, and even force individuals to leave their sense of familiarity and comfort behind to try to make a new home.
In a sense, we are all migrants: life is a constant spiritual, emotional, and physical journey. The acts of moving and searching ll our lifelong journey. I am reminded of St. Dominic who often traveled far in order to reach the people and to share the Gospel. Dominicans, as itinerant preachers, understand that they will go where they are called to serve God and to serve others, just as migrants understand that they will sacri ce everything to provide a better future for their families. As the justice promoter for the Dominican Sisters of Peace, I now have the privilege to work with countless sisters, associates, and community members who are making great strides forward on various justice issues. I nd my passion and my hope for our future through collaboration with these groups and from witnessing their endless work and determination to help individuals in our communities and x unjust structures in our society.
In that solidarity, the Dominican order has spoken to my heart. In that loving understanding of preaching truth and living peace, I have been drawn to the Dominican Sisters of Peace. As an associate candidate, I see truth, value, and hope in this group of itinerant preachers who will go to great lengths to serve God, our communities, and our world.