Nuns Standing with Standing Rock
Sisters ministering in Billings, Montana, on a Pilgrimage of Mercy for Climate Justice: Sister Marya Grathwohl, OSF; Sister Ann Schoch, SSND; Loretta Bad Heart Bull, Standing Rock Lakota; Sister Ann Marie Quinn, OSF; and Sister Cecily Schroepfer, OSF.
Advised by a Northern Cheyenne, S. Ann Schoch, SSND, blesses the Missouri River four times before blessing herself with the sacred waters.
Earth Hope Sisters: Sisters Ann Marie, Quinn, OSF; Ann Schoch, SSND; Marya Grathwohl, OSF; and Cecily Schroepfer, OSF.
Words from Therese Martin at her 100th birthday dinner and the commitment of her Lakota Sioux to protect their sacred lands/water assured supporters such as Sister Ann Schoch, SSND, that it was right that they came to be with the people.
“To see my people standing up for our rights, makes me so proud,” Therese said. “Whenever I read about the water protectors at the camps, I pray they fight to the bitter end.”
Joining Together Peacefully from Around the World
More than 300 flags representing the water protectors – many tribes and peoples of several cultures from the United States, Canada and other countries – encircle the peaceful Oceti Sakowin Camp of around 5,000. The “Nuns Standing with Standing Rock” banner is now part of this main camp circle.
Thousands of protestors from around the world have traveled to Standing Rock Indian Reservation to stand in opposition to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, which would threaten their water and their sacred sites.
Praying, Witnessing in Solidarity
A request to pray the rosary at the Sacred Stone Camp both surprised and touched the supporters with profound sharing. Gathered around the sacred fire, burning perpetually since April, they prayed the Glorious Mysteries of Water, each mystery based on a Gospel water story. The first mystery, Jesus’ Baptism in the River Jordan, led the people to name and pray for rivers in their home areas being devastated by violence to the environment.
“We witnessed hundreds peacefully marching in silence to and from the bridge that blocks off the main highway to the Indian Reservation,” Sister Ann said. “We experienced a peaceful atmosphere, kindness and friendliness our entire time in the camps. We continue to stand with the Water Protectors.”