Monday, February 20, 2017

Women Religious Including CCVI Participate in National Women's March

Women's March in St. Louis
"Women around the country and across the world took to the streets on January 21 in an
unprecedented demonstration on behalf of human rights and equality. The Women’s March in Washington was accompanied by more than 600 “sister marches” in 81 countries, on all seven continents and broke records with reports of nearly five million people participating worldwide.

Women's March in San Antonio
In Washington, women religious gathered at the Stuart Center on the eve of the march to pray, share supper, and participate in a refresher course in nonviolence. The group was joined by still more marchers the next morning for mass at St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill. From there they headed out to join the throngs of women, men, and their children making their way to the Mall to join the singing, chanting, and marches that broke out in all directions.

The marchers represented a wide range of political causes often clearly identified by the signs they carried and the chants that left some hoarse. However, what was also clear to many was the intersectionality of the various causes and the shared commitment of many marchers to justice for women, families, immigrants, and refugees; support for human rights, healthcare, and environmental protections; and a commitment to nonviolence." (from LCWR March 2017 Newsletter)

Sr. Jean Durel with a group of friends at the Women's March
in San Antonio. 
Women Religious from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word were among those who participated in local marches in Austin, TX and St. Louis, MO.  The march in St. Louis drew around 20,000 participants, one of the largest marches and demonstrations in recent history for them, and the march in Austin drew over 30,000 participants.

Sr. Jean Durel and Sr. Martha Ann Kirk were among sisters who attended the Women's March in Austin, TX.  Sr. Jean Durel shared that, "It was an incredible experience to be with 30,000 people – multi-generational and multi-ethnic -- in a peaceful march to say that “women’s rights are human rights and that we stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us."  

Sr. Martha Ann Kirk also shared about her experience. "I was touched by a woman on oxygen in a wheel chair at the march in Austin whose poster said, “Hear our voice. Women’s rights are human rights. Black lives matter. No human is illegal. Science is real. Love is love.”  As I walked next to her seeing the oxygen keeping her alive, I was also seeing so many people carrying signs “Repealing the Affordable care act is a death sentence for many. It seemed like a march to create a world of human dignity where all are respected, protected, and encouraged.  Fathers, husbands, and male friends also participated and carried signs expressing their respect for women and hopes for their daughters."
Sr. Mary Kay McKenzie and
Jennifer Reyes Lay at the
Women's March in St. Louis.

Jennifer Reyes Lay, from the JPIC Office, and Sr. Mary Kay McKenzie CCVI attended the Women's March in St. Louis, MO.  For Jennifer the March was "an experience of the Holy Spirit, drawing us together across many different identities and experiences to stand together in solidarity with all women, to lift our voices and pray with our feet for the kind of beloved community, rooted in justice, that our Scriptures speak about. It was an incredibly energizing and hope-filled experience."  

While the Women's March set impressive records and drew public and media attention, Sr. Jean reminds us that "one march is not enough.  The call to each of us, whether we went to a march or not, is to take action in our local area.  The new campaign is:  10 actions in 100 days.  1st Action:  send a postcard to your senators about what matters most to you.  For starters, are you upset about the planned wall on the U.S.-Mexico border? Or about the threats to cities declaring themselves as Sanctuary? Let your Senators know.  For more information go to"  

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