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Adrian Dominican Sisters March for Immigrant Families

July 5, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – Adrian Dominican Sisters added their voices to thousands of others on June 30 as they participated in Families Belong Together marches throughout the United States. Demonstrations throughout the nation protested the U.S. immigration policy that has separated children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border as the families attempted to enter the United States without formal documents. 

A small group of activists gathers in front of the ICE building in Detroit before moving on to other rallies in the Detroit area.

Sister Corinne Florek was one of about 2,000 people to attend a rally at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. “It was inspiring because most of the speakers were young children,” she recalled. “They reminded us of the children’s march during the fight for civil rights. One girl spoke of her father being taken by ICE and how that affected her.” 

Sisters Mary Trzasko, OP, and Beverly Stark, OP, were present at the rally in Charleston, South Carolina. Sister Beverly made the connection between the current immigration issue and the history of slavery in the U.S. South. “We gathered on and all around the steps of the Court House in Charleston, South Carolina, which is only a few blocks away from where slaves were bought and sold and families separated,” she said. “It was wrong and cruel then and it’s wrong and cruel today.”

About 20 Adrian Dominican Sisters were present for the rally in Adrian. Sister Kathleen Nolan, OP, Director of the Congregation’s Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, noted that the people of Adrian have been consistently attending rallies calling for social justice – from the Poor People’s Campaign and March for our Lives to the June 30 Families Belong Together March. “There was a lot of enthusiasm,” she said. “It was very encouraging.” The rally began at 11:00 a.m., and by noon, the crowd had grown to 150.

Sisters Judith Rimbey, OP, second from right, and Patricia Leonard, OP, right, participate in the rally in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“The rally was very well attended in spite of the heat,” said Sister Annette Sinagra, OP, who also attended the march in Adrian. “It was a great support for the children and families that have suffered so very much under the cruel policies of [President] Trump.”

Sister Esther Kennedy, OP, also joined the Adrian march.  “I was grateful for everyone who came. I also appreciated the cars that went by and honked…in support of immigration reform.”

Sister Esther spoke of her own motive for attending the rally. “We can feel overwhelmed in these kinds of situations, like there’s nothing we can do,” she said. “I do not want to be silent. I must put my body, my heart, my spirit, to join with others, and it’s not just in protest, but in remembering the core values this democracy was founded on. There have been times in our American history when we have not protested enough. I don’t want this to be one of those times.” 

Sister Kathleen believes the message of the rally in Adrian goes beyond the call for an end to cruel separation of families at the border. The underlying message of the June 30 rally and the other recent rallies is the same. “There’s a consistent message that voting in November is going to be very, very important,” she said. “We need to get out the vote in November because that’s the only way we’re going to make any changes.”

The Families Belong Together rally in Saginaw, Michigan, on July 2, 2018.

Sister Cheryl Liske, OP, a community organizer, attended the Families Belong Together Rally on July 2 in Saginaw, Michigan. She accompanied members of the Ezekiel Project of Saginaw, one of four organizations that were called upon to speak during the rally. About half of the people who attended the rally then went to the office of Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) to present a cage full of toys for the children at the border. The action was in reference to reports that children at the border had been put into cages.

Sister Virginia “Ginny” King, OP, attended two rallies in the Detroit area, the first in front of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building in Detroit. From there, she attended a related rally at the Hart Plaza in Detroit, traveling with “a small but diverse group,” she recalled.

Feature photo (top): Participating in the rally in Adrian are, from left, Sisters Joella Miller, OP; Maurine Barzantni, OP; Corinne Sanders, OP; Carmen Álvarez, OP; and Sara Fairbanks, OP.


Rally participants gather at the Court House in Charleston, South Carolina


Program Helps People Find Ways to Deal with Grief During the Holidays

October 20, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – Do you dread facing the holidays after losing a family member or someone else important to you? Sister Esther Kennedy, OP, will guide people on ways to navigate the feeling of deep personal loss and grief during the upcoming season of joy, family, and celebration.

Sister Esther Kennedy, OP

Living with Loss in the Holiday Season: Finding our Way Through will be offered from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, November 5, 2017. This day of reflection, discussion, and prayer is intended specifically for those who have lost a spouse, child, parent, or other significant loved one. A retreat leader and spiritual director, Sister Esther conducts a monthly Day of Mindfulness at Weber Center.

The cost for the afternoon is $25, with a non-refundable deposit of $10 due at registration. Registration is available by phone, 517-266-4000, and online.

Weber Center is located on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan.

For further information, call Weber Center at 517-266-4000.


 

 

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