Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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Public Statements

LCWR occasionally issues public statements as a way of using the corporate voice of women religious leaders to advocate against poverty, racism, powerlessness or any other form of violence or oppression. For further information on the statements on this site, contact the LCWR director of communications, Annmarie Sanders, IHM at

LCWR Condemns the Ongoing Violence Nicaragua

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is deeply concerned about the growing repression and state-sanctioned violence in Nicaragua. Citizens’ voices have been silenced and their peaceful protests violently suppressed. We have seen citizens abducted, tortured, and killed. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, reported that over a two-month period from mid-April to mid-June at least 178 people were killed, the vast majority at the hands of police forces and armed pro-government groups, and at least an additional 1,500 were wounded.

LCWR Disappointed in Court’s Decision to Uphold President Trump’s Muslim Ban

The Leadership Conference of Woman Religious is deeply troubled by the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of President Donald J. Trump v. State of Hawaii that challenged the legality of the Trump Administration’s third attempt at a Muslim ban. The court’s flawed ruling adds to the climate of fear and anti-Muslim sentiment in this country and threatens the values upon which our national community is built. 

LCWR Denounces the Administrations’ Decision to Rescind TPS for Salvadorans

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious strongly denounces the cruel decision by the Trump administration to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 200,000 Salvadorans. El Salvador is the fourth country whose citizens have been stripped of their right to protection by President Trump’s administration. Rescinding TPS from human beings under continuing threat of violence of all types is inconsistent with the values and traditions of this nation and with our belief in the dignity of all persons.

US Withdrawal from NY Declaration on Refugees and Migrants

The world faces an unprecedented global migration crisis. More than 66 million people are on the move, more than at any time since World War II. Some 17.2 million are refugees; most are children. They have been forced from their homes displaced by war, natural disaster, and endemic poverty. These brothers and sisters of ours are quite literally running for their lives.

Letter to US Congress to Enact Dream Act of 2017

November 2, 2017

Dear Members of Congress,

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is committed to the gospel mandate to welcome the stranger and to uphold the dignity of all people. We, therefore, implore you to immediately take up and enact the Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615/H.R. 3440).

LCWR Denounces White House Immigration Principles and Policies

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is deeply troubled by the continued actions of President Trump’s administration which denigrate our immigrant neighbors and threaten our communities. We reject the rhetoric of fear and the policy of division. We choose instead to embrace a dream for America that is filled with hope for a nation united in service of the common good.

LCWR Disappointed by President Trump’s Decision to Abandon the CPP

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is deeply disappointed by the Trump administration’s decision to abandon the Clean Power Plan (CPP) which sought to reduce carbon pollution and mitigate climate change, limits which are essential to the health and welfare of all people, especially the most vulnerable.

LCWR Urges Action to Protect Dreamers

[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) shares the disappointment of millions of people across the country who had hoped and prayed that President Trump would continue the protection offered Dreamers by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is a common sense path to stability for families, communities, and local economies and a reaffirmation of American values. Ending DACA will cause irreparable harm to families and communities and force 800,000 of our young people back into the shadows.

LCWR Condemns Racism in All Forms

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious condemns racism in all its harmful forms whether the violent acts of the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacist groups or the daily acts of hate and discrimination that diminish us all.

We grieve with the citizens of Charlottesville and all people of goodwill. We mourn with all who have lost loved ones, with all who live in fear, with all whose dignity is threatened by hate and violence. We lament the racism that continues to afflict our communities and threaten the values that we hold dear.

LCWR Assembly Statement on the US-DPRK Crisis

This week, while tensions between the governments of the United States and the People’s Republic of Korea quickly escalated, approximately 650 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious meeting in Orlando, FL issued a public statement imploring President Donald J. Trump to engage in dialogue and negotiation.

Leaders of Religious Congregations Welcome Pope’s Call to Action

The Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious
(LCWR), representing the leaders of the Catholic religious congregations in the United States welcome
the Holy Father’s call to embrace our moral responsibility to care for one another by caring for all of
God’s creation. Men and women religious have a long history of standing with those most in need;
today that includes those who suffer the consequences of environmental degradation and the
destruction of God’s creation.

Report of the Vatican's Apostolic Visitation of US Women Religious

Mother M. Clare Millea, ASCJ; Sister Sharon Holland, IHM; Pope Francis; Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, SV prior to press conference

A PDF copy of the final report of the Vatican's Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on the apostolic visitation of US women religious may be found below, as well as the text of the remarks made during the press conference.

LCWR's response to the report is also available here.


These are links to interviews recorded prior to the December 16 press conference:

Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious rejoices with Catholics throughout the world as we anticipate the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.

Both men are outstanding examples of selfless devotion to the Gospel and tireless labor to make the Catholic Church a beacon of hope and light for a world in need of both.

LCWR Calls on the House to Take Up Immigration Reform

Today the Leadership Conference of Women Religious sent a letter to all 435 members of the House of Representatives urging them to take up immigration reform— now!  We are asking that the house pass legislation that honors the values upon which our nation was built; includes a reasonable roadmap to citizenship; prioritizes family unity; protects the rights of all; promotes the integration of new Americans; and addresses the poverty and violence that force migrants from their homes. See below for a copy of the letter.

LCWR Statement on US Action in Syria

[Silver Spring, MD]  We, the members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, are compelled to work toward a world where reverence for all living beings finds expression in an approach to life free from violence. We stand in solidarity with the victims of violence everywhere, with a majority of the American people, and with the leaders of our Catholic Church as we heed the Gospel call to peace, reconciliation, and universal love.

LCWR Welcomes Senate Passage of Immigration Reform Legislation

Senate Immigration Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support

[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the passage of S. 744, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. While S. 744 as it now stands is far from perfect, it retains the spirit of our core principles for comprehensive immigration reform that is compassionate and just.

LCWR Statement on the Immigration Modernization Act

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the release of S-744, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013  and thanks  Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ)  for their efforts to craft bi-partisan legislation  to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.

LCWR Statement on Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) thanks Pope Benedict XVI for his many years of tireless service to the Catholic Church and for the contributions he has made as a theologian, as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and as pope. We respect his integrity in making what must have been a difficult decision to resign and promise him our prayer as he prepares to leave the papacy.  May he be richly blessed for his profound dedication to the service of the Gospel.

LCWR Statement on Immigration Proposals


[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the release of the bipartisan proposal by Senators Schumer (D-NY), McCain (R-AZ), Durbin (D-IL), Graham (R-SC), Menendez (D-NJ), Rubio (R-FL),Bennet (D-CO) and Flake (R-AZ) and President Obama’s pledge to work with Congress to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.

Ruling on Immigration Gets Mixed Reviews from LCWR and CMSM

[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) appreciated that the Supreme Court struck down three of the four most controversial provisions of Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070.  In its 5-3 ruling the court rightly held as unconstitutional provisions of the Arizona law which would have:


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