April 27, 2017, Washington, D.C. – Sister Kathleen Nolan, OP, Director of the Adrian Dominican Sisters Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation, along with Dominican Volunteer Holly Sammons, were among hundreds of clergy and lay leaders who took part in the April 24 Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in Washington, D.C.
The faith leaders gathered for a prayer vigil in front of the United Methodist Building at noon to urge Congress to reject President Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal, which makes drastic cuts to programs that address human needs in order to increase the Pentagon’s defense spending.
During the vigil, participants marched to the Hart Senate Building, where they knelt and prayed in the atrium to draw attention to the magnitude of the harm the budget will cause vulnerable populations in our nation.
In the Christian tradition of fasting to petition God in dire circumstances, EAD participants fasted from sunup to sundown on April 24.
“The theme for this conference is ‘Confronting Chaos, Forging Community: Challenging Racism, Materialism, and Militarism,” Sister Kathy said. “Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of these three ‘isms’ as the principle challenges of the time. We are still being confronted by these ‘giant triplets.’ ”
In the advocacy portion of the event, Sister Kathy and Holly were among many of the participants who visited the Capitol “to ask our legislators to make budget decisions that advance the common good,” Sister Kathy said. “We urged them to reject increased military spending and instead preserve robust funding for programs that support people living in poverty and other vulnerable persons in America and abroad, address systemic racism, and exercise responsible care for Earth.”
Douglas Grace, director of EAD said, “It’s important for us to send a strong message to Congress and the President that this budget is immoral, and we will do all we can to oppose it. We will not be silent or stand idly by while those most in need are harmed. We will not watch as families are ripped apart through mass deportations and our air and water are polluted because of corporate greed and deregulation.”
EAD is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community and its more than 50 recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and shared traditions of justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. Through worship, theological reflection, and opportunities for learning and witness, EAD’s goal is to strengthen Christians’ voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.
Feature photo: Holly Sammons, left, Dominican Volunteer, stands with Springfield Dominican Sister Marcelline Koch, OP, North American Dominican Co-promoter of Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation, during a walk to the Pentagon April 23.