Selma sisters sparked social activism

Posted by Siobhan O'Neill Meluso
Wednesday 11, March 2015 | Category:   Catholic culture,Mission & Evangelization,Church History
Catholic sisters marched with clergy and non-violent protesters in Selma, Ala. in 1965.

A recent Global Sisters Report article, “The Selma effect: Catholic nuns and social justice 50 years on,” documents the vital role Catholic Sisters played during the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. in 1965. Pictures of Catholic sisters who marched were splashed on the front pages of newspapers all over the country. Those images of solidarity for the marginalized were a catalyst for the future of social justice ministries in religious communities.

GSR shares, “Although the six Catholic sisters who marched in Selma were among hundreds of marchers, their presence was a landmark occurrence, an event that would reverberate around the country. Never before had Catholic sisters been involved in a national public protest, let alone one that was covered by all the national media. Initially the six nuns did not anticipate the impact of their public witness, but the violent racism and poverty they observed in Selma—and the reactions from the American Catholics, both positive and negative—provided a wake-up call to action for U.S. Catholic sisters from a wide range of communities in all parts of the country.”

Read about the full legacy of the sisters’ stories of working toward "gender equality and women’s empowerment, education, health, poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, and global partnerships," especially during this National Catholic Sisters Week.

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