Last month demonstrators marched down the streets of Seattle to show support for Catholic nuns who are being investigated by the Vatican for their feminist views. When I heard about the march, I counted back. It had been more than three decades since my last participation in a protest of any kind. A member of the sixties generation, I wore my hair down my back then, draping its flowing waves over my colorful muumuu. Not certain I wanted to return to those days, I gave the matter serious thought.
Before I could make this march I would have to believe strongly in the cause. The voices of reason supporting the sisters helped me to decide that they represented the ideals for which I had campaigned in my own life, not on the streets, but by living out my ideals and mentoring other women to develop their own inner power.
The website about the march suggested bringing a flower for each nun who had made a difference in your life, so I started a list. I only included the important nuns and, when my list got to a dozen and I was far from finished, I had made my decision. I would participate in the march and I would bring a whole bouquet. It was a very civil crowd, of all ages and genders. Tears wet my cheeks as we chanted, “We are the Church” and, as bouquets accumulated on the lawn at St. James Cathedral, I realized that I was not alone in acknowledging the impact religious women had on my life nor in my hope for change.
For more information on the march, go to: http://www.facebook.com/IStandWithTheSisters