Mercy Global Action: New Foundations in Mercy
Marianne Comfort (Americas)
The thread of Mercy through history stitches together accounts of sisters traveling to new lands to serve new peoples in totally new ways. But today’s invitation to new foundations in a post-pandemic world likely requires no long-distance passage. The journey begins with opening our eyes, minds and hearts to what is happening around us.
We entered the year 2020 with varying levels of understanding about entrenched interests, embedded injustices and violence of all shapes and forms buffeting people who are poor, immigrants, marginalized women and Earth herself.
Then the coronavirus pandemic laid bare all the inequities that only the willfully ignorant and blind can fail to see. Poor air quality and lack of healthcare put some people at greater risk for dying from covid-19 than others. Violent enforcement of stay-at-home orders most threaten poor families who need to go search for food or face starvation. Some of us obsessively wash our hands throughout the day while others don’t have access to clean water. Some of us continue earning an income in home offices; others lost jobs and wages or hold onto high-risk jobs in health care and food production plants. Mining and other extractive industries are deemed essential services and continue operating despite pleas of indigenous communities fearing the influx of workers bearing disease. And the list could go on.
At this point in the journey, we can look back at where we’ve come from and do the best we can to minister to the people most tossed about by the pandemic storm. We’re feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, attending to the sick and advocating for more compassionate government responses for the most marginalized among us. Just as we’ve always done.
At the same time, we can hear voices inviting us to something new beyond this present moment, on the other side of the pandemic. Voices that refuse to accept that the only route is a return to the old “normal” that left too many destitute and exploited and Earth herself degraded. Voices that insist we push forward to shape a more just and environmentally sustainable world...
Spanish translation by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Traducción al español por las Hermanas de la Misericordia de las Américas
Marianne Comfort is justice coordinator for Earth, anti-racism and women for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. She co-chairs the Steering Committee of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and has joined the Mercy Global Action COVID-19 Task Force. During the pandemic she is working out of the townhouse she shares with her husband, Ted, in Silver Spring, Maryland.
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