Joining in Solidarity
Sisters and novices stood in solidarity with people around the world by taking part in local marches or demonstrations. Several living in Indiana, participated in a march that coincided with the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, in Washington, D.C., and another sister participated in a 2017 March for Immigrants in Utah. Following are remarks from sisters about why these activities were important to them.
Sister Mary Ellen Vaughan, CSC
“I had listened attentively to statements (United States) President Trump made throughout his candidacy, post-election and post-inauguration, with growing alarm. I felt the very vision, values and policies that had built our democracy over generations were under attack. My mind had been actively involved in thinking, analyzing and expressing my ideas via e-mail to those in power. My soul/spirit had been actively praying for our nation and our world, in solitude and with others. It was time to get my physical being, my body, to act in a public way and with others. I could not go to Washington, D.C., or even to Chicago, but I could stand with and march with others here locally, convinced that local action really does make a difference.”
Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski, CSC
“I think one of the reasons our friend Amy and I wanted to march for refugees and immigrants on February 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah, was not just to protest the U.S. government’s ban on accepting refugees, but to support and value their presence as our friends and neighbors. We felt we needed to stand up for those who were being rejected as persons and help give them a voice. We needed to stand up publicly with people of like minds and hearts and counter the unkind words spoken about immigrants and refugees. For me it is pretty personal because of the people we serve in Holy Cross Ministries who have become our friends and colleagues. It is personal because my grandparents came as immigrants. It is personal because of our long relationship with the Lim family who came under the sponsorship of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in the 1980s. It is personal because we are called to give voice to the voiceless and homes to the homeless. It is not a complicated cause.”
Sister Rose Marie Canty, CSC
“We marched to be in solidarity with thousands of other people whose concerns are as large as the universe—each person expressing her own concern,” said Sister Rose Marie. “And we marched to be in solidarity with persons who have concerns that they want the (United States) president and Congress to hear, regarding issues such as healthcare, poverty, cosmic realities, climate change, immigration and many others. The march [in Washington, D.C. and other locations], was not just a whim. It was what we could do—each person representing her different reasons.”
Sister Vanessa Cruz Ferreira, CSC
“The Sisters of the Holy Cross Novitiate community participated in the Women’s March to demonstrate our solidarity with the rights of all women and minorities as well as to repudiate abusive language and action. We marched to raise awareness of the urgent need to empower women in politics, and society: equal pay for equal work, security, respect for our choices, our decisions and our bodies.
“Participating in the South Bend march was a very important opportunity that allowed us to connect with all women in the world and to remember that there are still places where women cannot study or express ideas.”