Mercy Sisters Joan Serda and Marilyn Graf mentioned they hoped the June 18 Ethical March on Washington, organized by the Poor Folks’s Marketing campaign, would get extra folks “to grasp the plight of the poor in our nation.”
In that case, “that can be some achievement,” Sister Serda mentioned in an interview posted on her non secular neighborhood’s web site earlier than she and Sister Graf left their convent in Cell, Alabama, to move for the nation’s capital.
“Possibly there can be a groundswell and we are able to make modifications,” she added. “I’m in search of extra enthusiasm for myself as nicely.”
Forward of the march, Sisters Serda and Graf have been a part of a gaggle of roughly 100 ladies non secular, friars and lay associates in addition to many different Catholics who gathered for a quick prayer service on the steps of St. Patrick’s Church in downtown Washington earlier than becoming a member of the occasion in entrance of the U.S. Capitol.
The Catholic contingent was organized by Community, a Catholic social justice foyer; the Management Convention of Girls; the Sisters of Mercy; Pax Christi USA; the Quixote Middle; the Loretto Group; and the Franciscan Motion Community.
“The Gospels and Catholic social educating name us to care concerning the frequent good and put the wants of the impoverished and susceptible first,” mentioned Tobias Harkleroad, who’s the Franciscan Motion Community’s director of campaigns. “Our nation is at a second that requires unity and solidarity to deal with many issues that conspire to trigger nice stress and hardship for these in poverty and low-wage jobs.”
“It’s so essential for all of us to look throughout traces of division to see our frequent humanity and our frequent struggles in order that we are able to create options for the frequent good,” he mentioned in an announcement. “We’re proud to unite our voices with the Poor Folks’s Marketing campaign to hunt justice collectively!”
The prayer service included quotes from St. Francis of Assisi, the prophet Micah and the Gospel in addition to quotes from a prayer written by Sister Thea Bowman, a candidate for sainthood. The Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, who has the title “Servant of God,” is one in every of six Black Catholics up for sainthood.
The service additionally included a poem written by Amanda Gorman, a younger Black Catholic and poet laureate from Los Angeles who learn a poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration Jan. 20, 2021.
The Catholic group concluded the prayer service singing, “Make me a channel of your peace.”
Then they walked below a “Catholics for Justice” banner and headed towards Pennsylvania Avenue to affix a a lot bigger crowd made up of poor folks and low-wage employees, the leaders of many religion communities and their members, and union leaders and social justice attorneys.
In keeping with the Poor Folks’s Marketing campaign, tens of hundreds of individuals lined Pennsylvania Avenue and much more watched on-line as speaker after speaker shared their tales on a broad vary of points: voting rights; the nation’s failure to answer COVID-19, particularly amongst poor communities; office rights; the necessity for well being care and residing wages; and the day-to-day battle of not having sufficient cash to outlive.
“So long as there are 140 million poor and low-income folks on this nation, and we all know it doesn’t need to be this fashion, we received’t be silent anymore,” mentioned the Rev. William Barber, who co-chairs the marketing campaign with the Rev. Liz Theoharis.
The Poor Folks’s Marketing campaign: A Nationwide Name for Ethical Revival, because the group is formally identified, is patterned after the motion the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and plenty of others led in 1968 calling for a “revolution of values” in America.
“They sought to construct a broad, fusion motion that might unite poor and impacted communities throughout the nation. At present, the Poor Folks’s Marketing campaign: A Nationwide Name for Ethical Revival has picked up this unfinished work,” the marketing campaign’s web site says.
The Sisters of Mercy “took a robust management function in advocating for Catholics to take part in Saturday’s occasions and the sisters have been in all probability the biggest contingent amongst us with sisters coming from throughout,” Harkleroad informed Catholic Information Service.
He mentioned the Catholics included Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Loretto Sisters, College Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and secular Franciscans.