Dominican Sister of Sparkill reflects on participating in “Families Belong Together” Rally

On Saturday June 30, 2018, rallies took place around the country to demand that our government leaders permanently end the separation of children from their parents, end family internment camps, end the “zero-humanity” policy that created this crisis, and reunify children with their parents. Several Dominican Sisters of Sparkill participated in a rally at the New City, NY courthouse to add their voices to the chorus of those insisting “Families Belong Together.”

One Sister, Helen R. Boyd, shared her account of the rally and the current state of affairs in our country. 

As a student of history, I am quite concerned over the state of American politics, the lack of regard for the inhumane treatment of our brothers and sisters at our borders, and the manner in which some politicians have chosen to deal with this situation. We who have welcomed to our shores the downtrodden, persecuted, and deprived peoples of the world over the course of two centuries have now closed our doors and hearts to them.

More importantly I am a follower of Christ and his message so beautifully put in the Gospels, “when I was hungry you gave me to eat, when I was thirsty you gave me to drink, when I was homeless you sheltered me… etc.” How can we as believers in a loving and merciful God stand by and watch children be torn away from their mothers’ arms when Christ said: “Allow the children to come unto me and forbid them not for such is the kingdom of heaven.”

For many years Lady Liberty’s light burned brightly in our harbor welcoming the oppressed, but now I see her light dimming. We can stop this from happening by sending out a clarion call with our voices and demanding our leaders to stop such inhumane treatment of the marginalized people of the world.

In essence that’s what the Families Belong Together Rally was all about. It was beautiful to see so many people of different ethnicities standing up in the heat of the day to peacefully demonstrate our deep concern for our fellow human beings at the borders of our country. To see Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and yes, I am sure even agnostics, united in such a cause was refreshing. It gave me great hope that all is not lost for America’s future.

~ Sr. Helen R. Boyd, OP

Sr. Helen R. Boyd, pictured below holding sign, is the former Principal of Rockland County’s St. Augustine’s School (‘71-‘79) and Albertus Magnus High School (’89-’96), as well as Orange County’s St. Thomas of Canterbury School (’79-’89). She spent 15 years ministering as a history professor at Iona College and is actively involved in social justice causes in and around Rockland County. 

Pictured from L-R are Sparkill Dominican Sisters Mary Jane Bookstaver, Pat Conway, Maureen Conway, Helen R. Boyd, Eileen Gannon, Grace Hogan and Margo Saich at New City’s “Families Belong Together” Rally on June 30, 2018.
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