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Reflections from the Women's March in NYC

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, approximately fifty Sisters, Associates and friends of the Sparkill community, including Dominican Sisters from neighboring congregations in Amityville, NY and Caldwell, NJ, participated in the Women’s March in New York City. This peaceful march was one of hundreds held around the world on that day with the mission of promoting civil rights for every human regardless of gender, race, country of origin, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, religion or creed.

Sparkill Dominican Sisters, Associates, Staff and friends at the Women's March in NYC on January 21, 2017.

This mission directly reflects our Sisters’ own mission statement, to “proclaim the reign of God through ministry for justice and reverence for all creation.” As such, we were compelled and proud to add our voices to those standing up for civil rights in New York and around the world.

The Women’s March in NYC was not a protest; it was a peaceful gathering to promote equality and human rights. People were not angry and there was no violence. Many diverse views were represented by the thousands of women, men and children who participated, and the group showed respect for all voices and perspectives.

Here we share reflections from some of those who attended:

“Participating in the Women’s March on NYC was a truly gratifying experience. Marching (mostly shuffling, standing) shoulder to shoulder with 500 thousand people who are committed to the civil rights and well-being of all humanity touched my soul. With pride, enthusiasm and presence our feelings were evident. With God’s help and much prayer, may our political leaders become enlightened.”

~ Stephanie Carpentieri, Dominican Associate & Staff Member at Dominican Convent

 

“The many who gathered were respectful, welcoming, hopeful, peaceful. It was a spirit-filled day, one of promise and solidarity. We came together around the world to support our sisters and brothers and to call for the care and protection of Planet Earth. The gospel call ‘to love our neighbor’ includes all life, and we are compelled to action by this call.”

~ Sr. Eileen Gannon, OP

“I chose to march on Saturday because I thought it was one concrete way of carrying out my congregation’s current Direction Statement. It was a way of proclaiming the Reign of God through ministry for justice as well as being a peaceful presence in a very fractured world. It was an exhilarating experience seeing so many women (and children and men) of all ages, backgrounds, etc. come together to say that all in our world must be respected and cared for. Looking at our group’s picture, I was more than proud to be part of the group.”

~ Sr. Patricia Conway, OP

“For me, participating in the NYC Women’s March was an opportunity to stand united with hundreds of thousands of others and say that it is NOT all right to take away people’s freedom and rights. The March demonstrated that while we may not all support the same exact cause, we can be allies and stand united to ensure that people don’t lose the freedom to live in America, the freedom to worship in America without fear of backlash, or the right to receive affordable health care in America. I feel especially blessed and grateful to have marched with the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill and will continue to witness and support them as they share their social justice mission and work to address the needs of those who suffer in our world.”

~ Joan Reilly, Staff Member at Dominican Convent

   

 

“I was compelled to participate in the Women's March in order to stand up and speak for justice, equality and human rights for all. It is our diversity that makes this nation strong; respect for this diversity and an understanding that we are related as members of the one human family are essential if goodness and love are to thrive among us. My commitment to and rootedness in the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching place me in mind and heart with those who are marginalized and threatened by injustice.”

~ Sr. Irene Ellis, OP

 

“It was an amazing experience to participate along with the Dominican Sisters in this historic event. The positive energy was contagious and inspiring. I hope that by lending our voices (and feet) we sent a clear message about protecting all human rights. Let’s not take these for granted.”

~ Yesenia Kopperman, Staff Member at Dominican Convent

 

“All who marched experienced blessings of light, love, honesty, compassion, peace, fellowship, protection, strength, and hope. We united in the sacred heart of our deepest souls throughout the world! An amazing, hope-filled, prophetic movement! I am grateful! The energy was and is palpable to me, and I pray for us all.”

~ Sr. Valorie Lordi, OP

 

“I’m grateful to have been a part of the Women’s March. While progress has been made on ensuring a number of basic human rights over the past decade, there is much more for us to do. In the current political climate, I fear that not only will further progress be stifled, but we’re actually in danger of reversing much of what has already been accomplished. The worldwide response of women (and men) to the call for a peaceful protest was incredibly heartening to me. I feel that many of us have had the luxury of being somewhat passive about certain injustices. It seems to me that the current climate is a wakeup call to those of us who believe in justice and equal human rights for all, but who have left it to others to ‘fight the good fight.’ Justice, equality, and democracy depend on every one of us paying attention and doing our part.”

~ Maureen Hatch, Staff Member at Dominican Convent

 

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