In November we witnessed a Presidential election we will not forget. I recall going to bed after the election filled with sadness and asking God to help our country. The sorrow I felt was for my sisters and brothers on the margins and wondering what more tribulations would they endure. I woke up the next morning and found on social media other people had the same feelings. I also found sisters providing words of hope and reminding us how we have supported those on the margins and we will continue to do so. We cannot lose hope. The words “we stand together” helped me to get up and go to my ministry to face and continue to serve the many women from different marginal groups of race, nationality and religion in need of health care.
The civic divisiveness of this presidential election has left our country in grave tension. Fears have exploded about immigrants, sexuality, racism, nationality, religion and the environment to name a few. Our country is in need of prayer.
As a people of faith we are being called to stand up and be steadfast in faith to resist these fears. It is important to raise our Prayers and Voices in solidarity with others whose human rights are being violated. We need to stand with those who are being deprived of human dignity and in need of protection. This includes the protection of species and earth. God has entrusted us to care for all of creation. Solidarity is imperative.
Prior to the election, Fr. Codoré Bruno, OP, Master of the Dominican Order, spoke on Solidarity at our 800th Dominican celebration. His words have stayed with me especially after this election. He said, “We have to consider solidarity is not an action, it’s a way of life. Nobody has the right to decide that someone, or a group of people, are not a part of society. We have to decide to live our life in a way that includes all people.“
I would like to share a few statements spoken after the election on not losing hope but rather coming together.
Sister Simone Campbell from Nuns on the Bus: "My faith tells me that now, more than ever, we need to mend the gaps and bridge the divides among us”…” we have to fight for a vision that eases people’s fears, brings us together, and solves problems." (link to the statement https://networklobby.org/news/20161109election/)
Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, recently elevated to Cardinal: "We must never tire of living our tradition of service to the needy, to those at society’s margins. Our common goals must be to demonstrate our commitment to those ideals, to recover our solidarity as a nation and to stand as a beacon of hope and compassion in a world sorely in need of both." (link to the statement http://www.archchicago.org/news_releases/news_2016/stmnt_161109.html)
As a people of faith we are being called to put on mercy and compassion to bring our divided country together. Let us stand together.
Please read the next article by Sister Joni Luna about Standing in Solidarity with Standing Rock.
By Sister Priscilla Torres, OP