I Support the Nuns: Solidarity with the Sisters

Ever since the Vatican announced an investigation of American nuns for focusing too much on poverty and economic injustice and not enough on abortion, we’ve been amazed by the groundswell of people rising in solidarity with the nuns in response. [1]

Weekly vigils organized by nuns’ defenders are popping up all over the country — in Washington, D.C., Ohio, upstate New York, Alaska, south Texas, and Florida. 50,000 people have signed an online petition asking the Vatican to stand down. Against this backdrop, American nuns are gathering in Washington right now to figure out a coordinated response. [2]

Jessica Jenkins, a young Catholic, founding member of Groundswell, and one of my best friends, wrote to Groundswell supporters asking if you’ll get involved. Read her message below. Groundswell is offering free “I Support the Nuns” stickers that you can use to show your solidarity with American nuns.

Click here to get your free “I Support the Nuns” sticker, and we’ll send you one in the mail.

We’ll send it to you, free of charge, and you can put it up on your office wall, pin it to your bag, or on the bulletin board in your Church, Synagogue, or other House of Worship to show your solidarity with America’s nuns. If you want to buy more, click here to purchase packs of 5 or 10.

This is the beginning of our work on this issue. Based on the response from our community, we’ll be figuring out what else makes sense for us to do to show support for American nuns.

[1] “Protesters back U.S. nuns in standoff with the Vatican,” by Stephanie Simon. Reuters. May 24, 2012.

[2] “Leaders of U.S. Catholic nuns to address Vatican reprimand about ‘radical’ feminism,” by Michael Martinez. CNN. May 27, 2012.

Dear friend of Groundswell,

I grew up in the Catholic Church, and have always had a deep respect for nuns.

My dear great-aunt is a Dominican sister. The Salesian sisters taught me to swim, sing, and sew at summer camp. The sisters of Notre Dame de Namur gave me a wonderful high school education.

So it baffles me that the Vatican would choose to target them for allegedly focusing too much on poverty and injustice.

After all, the Gospels I learned about in Catholic school are all about alleviating poverty and injustice.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
—Matthew 25:35-36

Join me in standing with the nuns. They’ve given so much in the service of God and now they need us to stand in solidarity with them.

Click here to get your free “I Support the Nuns” sticker.

When you get your pin, I hope you’ll take a picture with your friends and family — and send it back to us, so we can post it on a special Web site lifting up the positive stories of American Nuns and making it clear that we won’t stand for religion that denigrates and divides.

If you’d like to get more than one sticker, click here to order a set of 5 or 10.

We’re also going to be publicizing and lifting up the stories that so many of us have of working in the trenches with nuns in our community — serving food to the homeless, advocating for economic justice, and standing up for the dignity of immigrants.

Click here to email us your story of working alongside nuns fighting for justice.

Click here to visit the Nun Justice Project website and learn what you can do to support the nuns.

Nuns all over the world make tremendous sacrifices to live out the Gospel message. Nuns run soup kitchens, schools, hospitals, domestic violence shelters, and many, many parishes. Nuns are the backbone of the Catholic community. As a college student in El Salvador, I was privileged to spend time with nuns who had risked their lives in that country’s brutal civil war to care for the conflict’s victims. In Washington DC, I had the honor of working alongside the nuns at NETWORK, who tirelessly lift up the needs of the poor and oppressed to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

That’s why, today, Groundswell is offering a simple way for each of us to show our solidarity with America’s nuns in the face of the Vatican’s investigation.

Click here to sign up to receive a free “I Support the Nuns” sticker right now. We’ll send it within a couple of weeks to the address you fill in.

Many nuns and other Catholics are heartbroken over this investigation. They need our vocal support.

We acknowledge that broad coalitions across faiths and political views are needed to combat the most pressing social ills of our day. That’s exactly why we’ve started Groundswell, to build broad multifaith coalitions that can build bridges to fight for dignity for all people, regardless of who they are, who they love, and where they came from.

Imagine our friends, the nuns, seeing someone walking down the street with one of these stickers. Or looking online to see the hundreds of pictures of people like us advocating for respect for Nuns. It can give them strength at this important moment in their faith and in the history of the Catholic Church.

Please join us.

Click here to sign up to receive “I Support the Nuns” sticker.


Jessica Jenkins
Founding Member of Groundswell