Spirit-filled voters gather in Detroit
Sister Jan Kilian
October 1, 2020
“I think I can! I think I can!” said the little train chugging up the mountain; so says this big bus virtually zooming across the United States.
With Sr. Simone Campbell at the wheel, the Network bus made it to the Carney Latin American Solidarity Archive, or CLASA, at the University of Detroit Mercy on Oct. 1. We were co-hosted by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Gail Presbey from CLASA described the archived stories of immigrants struggling for ways to make a livelihood in their new land. The stories we continue to hear of racial and gender discrimination, poverty, disenfranchisement, nonacceptance into community, impairment of the right to vote, struggles to welcome the stranger — all are archived even as they continue today. Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Elizabeth Walters and Barb Beasley described their work with yearlong education and action networks to prepare for the upcoming election.
We spent a few moments breathing in deeply and breathing out slowly in prayer, led by Barb Beasley.
We share the air on Earth. We breathed this shared air into our lungs during prayer. All together, we breathed this air out of our lungs. We live in and walk through air we share, every living being on Earth; we are united as one in the very breath we share. We are all in this together.
Voting is a communal action and a moral imperative. As the discussion began, I was reminded of a statement from a previous town hall: “Bad politicians are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.”
Some of the concerns raised by these spirit-filled voters in Detroit included the right to life, climate change, economics, health care, immigration, racism and getting out the vote. Sister Simone spoke of her new book, Hunger for Hope, which is available through Network. We must bring moral vision to all issues of public life.
[Sr. Jan Kilian is a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, Minnesota. She has an academic background in hospital medical records, human development, and spiritual direction.]