Approaching Election Day as Peacemakers
As faith leaders we need to ensure our congregations that we will all work to ensure that every vote is counted and that our streets are peaceful–no matter the outcome of the election or what happens in the aftermath of Nov. 3rd.
Last week, the Mennonite Central Committee(a valued partner with Interfaith Immigration Coalition, of which FAN is an active member) sent out a newsletter with a reflection on peacemaking and civil discourse as we approach Election Day. We believe in their message: “We cannot build up God’s kingdom while tearing each other down. Only by finding ways to work together will we succeed in creating a better world-one brave step, one bold relationship, one small act of peacemaking at a time.” We offer these resources and build on them in a spirit of peace.
Resources for peacemaking and nonviolence:
- Bystander intervention: Mennonite Mission Network
- Dialogue: Having better conversations on divisive issues (MCC Canada)
- Peaceful protests: Nonviolence guidelines
- Prayer walks and singing: Peace prayer walk toolkit | Hong Kong protests: How Hallelujah to the Lord became an unofficial anthem
- Polarization: Beacon: Us and Them | National Association of Evangelicals: For the health of the nation
- Protect the Results coalition: https://protecttheresults.com/
- Faithful Democracy’s “Sacred Season of Voting”: https://faithfuldemocracy.us/resources/
- Faithful America is encouraging pastors to preach about counting every vote and this article from NCR, which has a Catholic focus, talks about a lot of these efforts.
Ultimately, voting is just a first step, and no matter what happens on November 3rd and in the days after we still must advocate for those on the margins. May we all strive to be peacemakers.
As the Eagles of the Desert prepared for a search this past weekend, a friend sent this beautiful image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
to S Maria Louise Edwards. The artist wishes to be known as La Corua.
To learn more about her, click here.
Sister Maria Louise said, “Her image of Our Lady brought to mind the numerous times the Aguilas have found human bones in the Arizona and Californian deserts, where hundreds of migrants die every year.” She added, “Since Aguilas began in 2012, they have rescued the lives of more than 80 people, recovered the remains of more than 90 people, and received more than 6000 contacts for help.”
Sister Maria Louise explained that, “In this image, Our Lady’s tears turn to roses that rain down blessings on the deceased. As she sorrowfully collects this migrant’s bones, it made me wonder how alone he must have felt when he died. Our Lady’s presence is a comforting reminder that not even a sparrow falls to the ground that God doesn’t know. At the same time, I keep trying to understand why there isn’t a greater outcry over the injustice of this unnecessary loss of life. Those who die in the desert are certainly the voiceless of our time.”
La Corua writes, “Sonoran Arizona remains America’s migrant graveyard… I continue to find ways where I can honor all those who gave up everything for a better life. It is my intent to show here that we can only hope they are being received into a better place than those they knew in their home countries or in our deserts.”
by S Maria Louise Edwards, CSSF
In 2019, thanks to the direct contribution of Aguilas del Desierto, either through searches or by serving as a conduit for communication between ‘coyotes,’ family members and authorities, 27 migrants were rescued alive. That’s an average of two lives saved each month.
Felician Sisters Changing the World with the Community of Sant’Egidio
A painting near the dining room
The Community of Sant’ Egidio is an “international public association of the laity” of more than 60,000 lay people active in more than 73 countries throughout the world. The Community was founded in 1968 by ndrea Riccardi, an Italian historian, professor, politician and activist.
The second refugee family consisted of two teenage girls who were being hidden from their Muslim uncle who attempted to sell them into marriage to terrorists. Both families stretched the sisters’ understanding of different cultures and religions and opened their hearts to all in need.
S Jusciêda Maria Araύjo Menezes joined Sister Margaret on Friday evenings at the Community Center. Sister Jusciêda continued her service at the Community Center. The poor around the Vatican greet Sister Jusciêda as Madre.
After being set up to house the homeless, the palace was dedicated and blessed by Pope Francis. Sister Jusciêda volunteered to serve breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Since the hope was to have women religious and seminarians involved in this ministry, Sister Jusciêda invited members of the Generalate community to assist her in serving breakfast on the weekends.
Thus far, S Elaine Marie Frigo, SM Anita Bienia, SM Carlotta Myszka, SM Dominika Kazimierczuk, and SM Renée Kurczaba have volunteered their time to minister to the poor. According to Sister Renée, the most important aspect of this ministry is one of presence. She explained, “Most of the sisters do not speak Italian, but the poor around the Vatican are from several European countries and some of them speak English. However, the gift of presence transcends language.”