FSPA, LCWR: "End the divisive rhetoric"

08/25/2019 7:25 am

During the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly in August, sisters called on President Trump to stop all divisive and polarizing rhetoric. LCWR challenged all attendees to add our own voices to the call.

FSPA has added its voice to the call. 

A challenge to leaders: share the goodness

Guest Editorial
La Crosse Tribune
Eileen McKenzie, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration

I just returned home from the annual assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. There, with 662 leaders of Catholic sisters, we sent a letter to President Trump, imploring him to end all divisive rhetoric. I added my voice to this letter because we need leaders to bring out the best in us, to unite us for the good, and to uphold a society that values freedom, dignity and respect for life. The rhetoric that pulls us apart from each other in the name of what is “fair” or even “American” needs to change. While we look to our elected or appointed leaders to show us the direction that will be good, or better, for us, it is often our neighbors who take the lead in showing us the moral integrity of our nation and world.

We Catholic sisters insert ourselves into areas of poverty and injustice all over this county and we witness overwhelming goodness by people every day. Because of this, we challenge our leaders to not only pay attention to the ways residents, their constituents, are leading with goodness, but to join them. Below is just a snippet of what we are witnessing.

When the owner of Bullet Cab company in La Crosse discovered a racial slur painted on his garage door in February, residents showed up. We showed up to denounce this hate crime with a resounding message: hate has no business here in La Crosse

When mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand were maliciously attacked, residents showed up again. In La Crosse we gathered with candles at the UW-La Crosse Hoeschler Clocktower to send a resounding message: hate has no business anywhere.

When our country came together for Lights for Liberty last month, a vigil to peacefully protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants, we lined the Cass Street bridge, shining light on the fact that, again, hate has no business anywhere.

When the Friends of Cameroon and FSPA hosted a town hall to promote American intervention to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the conflict  in Kumbo, Cameroon, La Crosse’s Sister City, over 100 residents called for American politicians to take the moral lead. Congressman Ron Kind not only showed up and listened, but visited Cameroon and called on the U.S. government to end the violence.

People are showing up in other communities around the nation, too. After the mass shooting in El Paso, 11-year-old Ruben Martinez launched an acts of kindness challenge. The #ElPasoChallenge calls on us to commit 22 good deeds to honor those who were murdered.

All around us people are showing that even in the midst of our lives’ greatest challenges, goodness exists. I am not suggesting we look at the world through rose-colored glasses, but that we see that goodness shows up in the good people who step up.

Local goodness generates global goodness, and though we may never know how far the ripple effects reach, it grows exponentially. When we show up, we inspire others to show up too.

You’re showing up, time and again. We see you. And we’re inspired by you.

Share the goodness

Read the full Leadership Conference of Women Religious call 

Read "Collaboration can bring out our best" - La Crosse Tribune Editorial Board

Join La Crosse, Wisconsin-area conversations regarding the future of ethical leadership in politics 

Visit La Crosse Tribune, read this editorial again, and share it 

Be the good.

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