Monday, July 9, 2012

A Perfect Recipe for Celebrating our Religious Liberty

Spend a weekend on the lake fishing, going to a theater production, enjoying a concert in the park, lots of good food and great conversation with friends.  It was just what all of us needed. And that wasn’t even the 4th of July! 

On that mid-week holiday the Sisters in the Madison region had a wonderful potluck gathering – again, good food and great conversation. It’s important for us to have these breaks in our routine, to share opinions and insights, and, as Tanya said, to share our stories with one another.

One of the topics of conversation, of course, was the brilliant opportunity for teaching and preaching that Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director of NETWORK, made use of via the NUNS ON THE BUS tour that just concluded.  There were crowds who greeted the bus at each stop in that 2,000-mile journey through nine states, and they heard stories that highlighted the amazing variety of works that Sisters are doing among the invisible, voiceless and marginalized of society.  Even the “friend-raisers” they had in many cities were filled with storytelling about the ministries in which Sisters are involved and have been for many years.

It is truly a gift to God’s people in the 21st century to hear Sisters being invited to claim the wisdom they have gained from their experiences ministering among the poor, the humble and the hidden.  Many of us have taken what we learned as teachers in classrooms or in social work and health care and applied those learnings to those who are the subject of this nation’s annual celebration of liberty.  Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”  There is much to celebrate!

What are the stories of struggle and celebration that you remember and share?

Ruth Poochigian, O.P.
Madison, Wisconsin

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