Columbus, OH – It was cool and cloudy in Columbus, OH. Watertown, MA was a little sunny, but still cool. It was raining cats and dogs in Louisville, KY, but warm enough for short sleeves in the Big Easy.
What did these cities have in common on Saturday, March 24? In each of these cities, as well as in Hartford and Guilford, CT, Great Bend, KS, Harrodsburg, KY, Oxford, MI, and Akron, OH, Dominican Sisters of Peace stood in solidarity with the young people of the “March for our Lives” demanding sensible gun control and an end to gun violence.
In Louisville, KY, Peace Dominicans and associates joined more than 2000 marchers in a cold drizzle to show solidarity with those seeking safer schools and communities. Sr. Catherine Mahady, OP, a Parish Outreach Minister in Louisville, said, “If you can remember back to the 1960’s, there is nothing like being in a very large, cold, wet, noisy, and energized crowd shouting, ‘This is what democracy looks like,’ to make you – whether you are young or old – proud again to be an American.”
Sr. Charlene Moser, OP, the congregation’s co-director of founded ministries, summed up the Kentucky contingent’s reason for joining the March. “I think at this point in our country’s history we need to stand up and raise our voices,” Sr. Charlene said. “We need support those whose voices may not be heard, or may be dismissed. These young people are an inspiration to us “elders.”
Dominican Sisters of Peace in Waterford, MA took a different path to participating in the day’s events. The Sisters at Rosary Manor and the Spirit study group gathered in the Chapel for prayer “in solidarity with our youth and adults to demand an end to gun violence.” The group discussed the power of one voice speaking out against injustice and how personal discussions can help to reduce the power of the NRA over public policy. Mission Group Coordinator Sr. Valerie Noone said that while she was no longer able to march, her prayers were with those who did. “Years ago I walked to protest the war in Vietnam…now I march in my heart through prayer,” she said.
At the Congregational Offices in Columbus, OH, preparations for the March began early in the week, when Sisters created posters to carry in the March. A Facebook video of Sisters holding the posters got more than 1 million views, and Sisters attending the Columbus March marched alongside more than 7000 people on the route from a downtown park to the Ohio Statehouse.
The New Haven, CT House of Welcome split forces for the day, with some Sisters attending the March in Guilford while others marched on the capital of Hartford. Posting photos of the March on social media, Sr. Ana Gonzalez said “I marched because I’m pro-life! Basta with the Gun Violence!”
The Dominican Sisters of Peace espouses the following public position regarding gun violence: “In the US, we will advocate for common sense gun control laws such as requiring universal background checks before purchasing arms; banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines; promoting strategies to prevent gun violence; and providing adequate financial resources to establish mental health programs for victims and perpetrators and prevention programs for at risk people.”
To view the Dominican Sisters of Peace “March for our Lives” photo and video album, please click here.