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2020 Election Countdown

2020 Election Countdown

The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael are preachers of truth, love, and justice rooted in the four Dominican pillars of prayer, study, community, and service. Called to bring the Gospel to bear with depth and compassion on the critical issues of our times, the sisters invite you to join them in preparing for the ballot box and in voting!

Our preaching is by the way we live so taking action is foundational to who we are. Certainly, one of the most important actions you can take is to exercise your democratic right and duty and vote on November 3. Our faith teaches us that we have a responsibility to participate in politics out of a concern for, and commitment to, the good of the community. Through the framework of our commitment to Catholic social teaching and our congregational vision in which “We reverence and affirm the inherent dignity of each person,” it is through informed voting that we work for the transformation of attitudes and systems that deprive any person of dignity.

Starting September 1, we will post a weekly election-related topic to consider as a way to prepare for and reflect on the issues in the upcoming election. Be sure to follow, especially each Tuesday, and share with your friends and family.


Tuesday, October 21, 2020

COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION 2020: As you make your plan to vote and/or pray for those yet to vote, remember the original promise of our patriot dream. Award-winning Bluegrass vocalist Claire Lynch and award-winning Blues/Gospel vocalist Lea Gilmore perform a stunningly soul-filled duet of Jesse Palidofsky’s revised and updated “America the Beautiful: 2020”.

In the spirit of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land”, which sprung out of the depths of the Great Depression, America the Beautiful: 2020’s three new verses uplift our spirits as they invoke the original promise of the patriot dream—while also inviting us to look squarely at the undeniable, dramatic challenges we face as a nation, and as citizens of a larger world in crisis.

VIDEO: Listen to the song on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiydluD0PyM

Follow along with the lyrics:

Includes three new verses by Jesse Palidofsky and John Morris 
Copyright 2020 

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain’s majesties
Above thy fruited plain!
America! America! God shed much grace on thee
So spread the love sent from above
From sea to shining sea

O beautiful thy immigrants
Who hail from every land
Their hope and heart and diligence
Like gifts from God’s own hand
America! America! Thy grace shall yet remain
To greet the poor who reach thy shore
With open arms again

O beautiful O Mother Earth
All nestle at your breast
Just as we sing with love and pride
So all nations are blessed
America! America! Alone cannot abide
God give thee pause to mend thy flaws
With Truth thy only guide

O beautiful thy working folk
Built cities, tilled thy soil
Proud Africans in bloody chains
The wealth built from their toil
America! America! God shed much grace on thee
So spread the love sent from above
From sea to shining sea
Ring sisterhood! Ring brotherhood!
From sea to shining sea


Tuesday, October 14, 2020

COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION 2020: As Election Day approaches, some Catholics are finding it difficult to discern which candidate most represents their consciences and the teachings of the Church.  In his writing and speaking, Pope Francis has provided explicit instruction on the many ways we are called to defend, promote, and protect the sacredness of all life, the unborn and the born.  The Pope has made it clear that faith does not fit neatly into any one political party.  But he has given us examples of what equally sacred life issues and priorities are at stake when we cast our votes.

NETWORK, Catholic Social Justice Lobby, has provided a comparison of the presidential candidates based on some of these equally sacred life issues, with quotes from Pope Francis related to the various issues.  To access this list and the Pope’s instructive words, open the following link:



Tuesday, October 6, 2020

COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION 2020: Voting is an act of love! We invite you to view a webinar from the Catholic Climate Covenant entitled “I’m Catholic. How Should I Discern?  Conscience, Discernment, and Voting as an Act of Love.”

There are 3 speakers, and the webinar is one-hour long.  We encourage you to watch at least the 1st segment that is presented by Dan DiLeo, Director of the Program of Justice Studies and Peace at Creighton University.  This can help a person to understand the primacy of personal conscience in weighing the multitude of equally sacred issues that are at stake in this election.



Tuesday, September 29, 2020

COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION 2020: The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael (including Sr. Cathy Murray picture here) are proud to host NETWORK’s Virtual Nuns on the Bus Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters–Northern California as the tour group takes a virtual trip around the country. The Northern California stop is Sunday, October 11, 2020, from 2-3:30 pm—on Zoom! While this town hall is virtual, it is intended especially for those who live in Northern California.

As the upcoming election draws near and recognizing the importance of our civic duty to vote, the Dominican Sisters have been engaging in a number of recent activities to raise awareness on issues, make sure people are registered to vote, and more. Sisters have been supporting the US Postal Service in postcard writing, providing this weekly “Election Countdown” campaign on social media, and now are thrilled to be a part of this Nuns of the Bus event to engage community members and put their faith into action at the ballot box.

We invite you to join us, Sr. Simone Campbell and the Nuns on the Bus for a Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters. As virtual hosts, San Rafael’s Prioress Sr. Carla Kovack, OP will offer a welcome and opening prayer. Spirit-Filled Voters are voters who are committed to mending the gaps in our nation and are able to talk to their friends and family about the need to promote the common good this election. This town hall is for those who are committed to being Spirit-Filled Voters this election season, and beyond!

During the town hall, Sr. Simone and the Nuns on the Bus will talk about the great urgency of this election and why it’s important for Catholics and other people of faith to be spirit-filled, multi-issue voters. Then, using Zoom break-out rooms, participants will go into small groups with the Nuns on the Bus to practice talking about why they are a Spirit-Filled Voter. At the end of the event, Sr. Simone will commission participants to go forth and talk to their family and friends about mending the gaps in our nation this election season. The Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters is 90 minutes long and is highly interactive. Participants are encouraged to have their video turned “on” as much as possible and be willing to engage in the small and large group discussions.

Participants must register in order to get the Zoom link. Participants are encouraged to log on a little early since the schedule is packed and they plan to start right away!



Tuesday, September 22, 2020

COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION 2020: Make sure you check your voter status and study the local issues.  As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said, “Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

As the #2020Election draws ever nearer, we want to ensure that everyone is aware of and has confirmed their voter status so as to be able to vote in the election. California voters, please check your status here: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/

We would also like to call your attention to the League of Women Voters recommendations for all the propositions on the California ballot:




Tuesday, September 15, 2020

COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION 2020: Join us as we study the U.S. wealth and income gap, the policies that can help us “mend” the gap by bringing the people at the economic margins closer together, and the gaps in access that are created by economic disparity.

As we prepare to cast our votes in the upcoming election, let us keep in mind the urgent need for policies that can help all in our country to achieve economic security. Vote your conscience and help to elect people who will care for those who have lost their jobs in the economic downturn of the coronavirus and those who labor and toil but whose work does not provide the means to care for themselves and their families.

We suggest the following information from NETWORK, Catholic Social Justice Lobby, as a means of understanding the economic inequalities that must change to “promote the general welfare” of all in this country.

MEND THE GAP! Examining Economic Inequality in the United States

Federal policies enacted since 1980 have exacerbated vast economic and social divides in our country. These divides are eroding the very fabric of our society. In his encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis calls us to do more than “amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it.”

For a graphic view of how large this income inequality has grown in the last 34 years, go to the link below for a short video that helps one to visualize the enormity of income inequality today in the U.S.

NETWORK provides in-depth studies of the circumstances that led to and maintain the income gaps in our country today. To access these studies of income inequality and how to mend the gap between the wealthy and the poor in our country, just fill in your name and email at the 2 links below:

Tuesday, September 9, 2020

COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION 2020: The importance of holding issues as equally sacred—taking to heart Pope Francis’ Challenge of Contemporary Political Engagement

In March of 2018 and again in June 2020, Pope Francis gave Catholics, and all people of goodwill, clear instructions for how we are called to position ourselves, and prioritize social issues. In the apostolic exhortation on holiness, Gaudete et Exsultate, and again in his general audience following the murder of George Floyd, Pope Francis speaks of all of the ways we must defend, promote, and protect the sacredness of human life. A list of the issues named by Pope Francis on these occasions follows. [Network Connection 2020]

Pope Francis’ Priorities

  • We need a clear, firm, and passionate defense of the unborn, however, equally sacred are the lives of those already born.
  • Equally sacred are those made destitute, abandoned, underprivileged.
  • Equally sacred are the vulnerable infirm and the elderly exposed to covert euthanasia.
  • Equally sacred are victims of human trafficking and new forms of slavery.
  • Equally sacred are those exposed to every form of rejection.
  • We must address injustice in a world where some revel and others live in abject poverty.
  • We must consider the situation of migrants a primary issue.
  • We must oppose racism and exclusion in any form.

To read more about issues that Pope Francis names as “equally sacred,” visit:


Tuesday, September 1, 2020

2020 Election Countdown: Guarantee the Right to Vote for all

Guarantee all citizens the right to vote without facing procedural obstacles.

Since the 15th amendment secured the right of African Americans to vote, state and local governments have continuously passed discriminatory laws that disenfranchise voters under the guise of reducing voter fraud. Voter ID laws and other election practices have disproportionately affected people of color, elderly citizens, young voters, low-income citizens, voters who are homeless, and people with disabilities.

Congress must ensure the 15th amendment, 19th amendments, and Voting Rights Act of 1965 are upheld. To make the voting process easier, alternative voting methods such as early voting and vote by mail should be enacted for individuals who cannot vote in person on Election Day.

For more information or to learn about ways to take action visit: https://networklobby.org/issues/votinganddemocracy/

Preachers of  Truth • Love • Justice