Many of us awoke this morning to worry, fear, and anger. Perhaps you are feeling these today, too.
As women who bear hope in our name, we cannot despair. We don’t just “like” or “believe in” hope; we live it. We have committed our lives –even our name– to it.
What does it mean to live out hope, especially when you’re not feeling very hopeful? It’s simple: your very existence is hope in this world. Our world is filled with fragmentation and injustice, yet none of us can deny that truth, nobility, justice, loveliness, purity, and excellence, also exist. Whatever is admirable –if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– we must think about these things.¹ And they are there.
In July, we asked what gives you hope. It was a joyous time of remembering our founding as a congregation and, you, our readers, co-creators, and friends, celebrated with us by replying in abundance. You told us that children and the elderly give you hope, the beauty of a rainbow gives you hope, the promise of Jesus himself gives you hope. You are heartened by watching others live morally, fight for justice, and respond to violence with love. Just as they were yesterday and will be tomorrow, these instances of hope are all alive in our world. None of us needs to look too far to see one child helping another, a young person striving to do good, a faithful person entrenched in prayer, the beauty of nature, the love of God, the brilliance of good will.
Indeed, hope is always here. We’ve committed our lives to it. Moreover, we make it our mission to share with you where and how we find hope, so that you might be assured of its everliving existence in our world.
Now, we’re asking you to join us. We ask you, regardless of race, creed, background, political preference, or any division, to stand for hope and justice. As Sister Catherine Walsh is quick to note, presidents are important, but it’s what we do on the ground that matters.
Today is the day for all of us, including you, to commit to working for justice. Now is the time to welcome the foreign, to visit the sick, to serve the poor and marginalized. Your efforts don’t have to be monumental; taking on a volunteer job or even committing to online activism make a difference. If you’re not sure where to start, we have an index of ways to begin.
This month alone, Sisters Sharon Yount and Diane Trotta are heading down to New Orleans to help build houses for folks who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina. Sister Bette Ann Jaster is on the front lines of the fight to stop the Algonquin Pipeline, a major fracking threat in New York. Sister Mary Headley is traveling to Haiti to deliver goods to help rebuild and get people food, water, and medical care after the hurricane. As a community, we’re collecting stamps and stationery for families in detention so that they can communicate with family members back home over the holidays. And, we’re currently working with local parishes and Cardinal Dolan to change the local landscape for refugees.
Right now, Sister Beth McCormick is seeing hope in prison. Sister Debbie is finding hope in Nicaragua’s poorest communities. Sister Beth Jaspers is discovering hope in the persistence of the people of Appalachia.
Now, it’s your turn to ask what you can do to help. We provide concrete action steps along with links to partner organizations in our articles; those should offer you a good starting point. Still not sure about what to do or how to start? There are countless more ways to get involved, and examples of people who are working to change the world, on our website (and we’re always adding to the list!).
If you’re experiencing worry, fear, and anger today, we urge you to not let despair become debilitating. Instead, let’s commit to making our world a more whole, just, loving place. Let’s preach the message that every life has dignity, that living in communion with all of creation is our common goal. Let’s take concrete steps to living out the transforming power of hope.
Let’s get to work.