SISTERS JOIN SOA VIGIL
Presentation Sisters, from left, Joetta Venneman (Dubuque), Myra Remily (Aberdeen) and Joann Sturzl (Aberdeen), represented the Conference of Presentation Sisters as they joined thousands of others at the School of the Americas Vigil in Fort Benning, Ga., in November.
The following was submitted as a reflection by Sister Joetta.
Each year those killed by the graduates of the School of the Americas are lifted up in voice as those gathered respond uniformly with the word, “PRESENTE.” This prayerful vigil is emotional for those that gather as they hear witnesses from Central and South America describe the violence done in the name of Americans.
Emotions become deep as individuals can come to a point where they desire to physically perform civil disobedience by entering School of the Americas' property. Others join in solidarity through spirit with anyone that chooses to cross this barrier. Intentionally discerning and engaging in such an act this year was Theresa Cusimano of Denver, Colo. She crossed the line for the second time following the solemn funeral procession.
Watching Theresa scale the fence with her “camper ladder” and piece of carpet, so as not to get scratched by the wire on the top of the fenc,e struck a deep sense of commitment to action in solidarity with those in Central and South America who struggle with American policies. Their struggle is certainly our struggle until human dignity is achieved and all are free of the structures keeping them in poverty.
For more on Schools of the Americas, visit the Schools of the Americas Watch website.
SISTERS RAISE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Sisters Pegge Boehm, Aberdeen and Maris Stella Korb, Fargo contributed to what was the first evaluation of US Human Rights put forth by it's own citizens.
On behalf of the International Presentation Association (IPA), the Sisters submitted their observations in conjunction with two other organizations, namely Franciscans International and Unanima.
Sister Pegge addressed the genetic modification of seeds and Sister Maris Stella reported on labor trafficking. This information contributed to a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) required of every country, every four years. Material that was submitted will be publicly presented and discussed at Geneva, Switzerland in September, 2010.