by Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, Programs Director

We gather in prayer and in peace with aching and broken hearts to be in solidarity with brothers and sisters who, for centuries have suffered and endured systemic racism. We gather because we believe that building the Beloved Community is worth our greatest efforts.

Wherever we have been since the events of this past weekend in Charlottesville, VA, with whomever we have had conversations, at whatever Vigils we attended, whatever prayers we have uttered, petitions we have signed, and heart-sick moments we have felt – we should not be surprised at the reaction, for we have been told what would happen: “Blessed are you who are persecuted because of your struggle for justice. You are fortunate when others insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. They persecuted the prophets before you in the very same way” (Paraphrase of MT 5: 10-11).

We do not call attention to ourselves by carrying torches, spewing slogans of violence and hate, armed with guns, swords, mace, knives, and sticks. We come in peace, arms locked around each other with our only “weapon,” a nonviolent peace-filled heart that believes that love is stronger than hate.

As the slander, insults, and persecution continues from the highest level of our government, we remain steadfast knowing that the Cloud of Witnesses that have gone before us are not in some ethereal place, but with all of us who gather proclaiming with our lives that peace with justice is possible.