Sr Noemia Silva. Courtesy of Rudy Lopez, CNA
When the city fathers of Stone Park Il came out in support of the worthy project of building a strip club next to a convent, they failed to reckon with the grit, guts and determination of nuns.
I’ve written before about the moral courage of women. When that moral courage is empowered by an unwavering commitment to the love of Jesus Christ, it becomes the kind of force that wears away stone.
I don’t know too much about Stone Park, Il, even though we have similar towns here in Oklahoma. From what I’ve read it’s a small town with a large number of strip clubs. So far as I know, they’ve gotten away with this up to now.
Bishop Scalabrini Community of the Missionary Sisters of St Charles Scalabrinians
But when they decided to build a multi-million dollar “adult entertainment” club across from the convent of the Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo, Scalabrinian, they started a fight with people who aren’t impressed by money or scared of bouncers.
The intransigent support for this particular strip club, might lead to the conclusion that the people who run this town are what you might call dedicated to having this particular strip club in this particular location.
They want a strip joint next to these nuns and they aren’t going to give an inch until they get it. Earlier in the on-going battle the owner of the club played the Christian-bashing card.
Dont “… impose your religious beliefs,” he said.
This guy makes his living by treating women like animals in a zoo. I can certainly see why he wouldn’t welcome the nun’s “religious beliefs” on his premises. What I don’t understand is why he has fought so hard to put his premises on the nun’s doorstep.
Why is it so very important to place a strip club next to this convent? You’d think that piece of land was the last place in the continental United States that was available for such uplifting civic projects. The people who run this town are dug in on this. Is Stone Park in some sort of strip club competition with another town? Do they perceive a strip club gap developing that they have to fill?
The strip club is called “Get It,” which I think says a lot about the services it plans to offer. The intention was to open this club during Holy Week 2012. I think that speaks for itself.
The war is one year on and the sisters are still holding their ground. They recently held a rally to celebrate this fact, which says a lot in itself.
As many as 500 people have gathered for a prayer vigil. More than 3,000 people have signed petitions against the Club.
“It’s not only for the sisters, but for the community itself,” Sister Noemia Silva said. “All of our communities are praying for this; it’s just constant, constant prayer.
She compared their fight to David and Goliath. “David won the battle because he trusted the Lord. He’ll fight this battle for us.”
CHICAGO — Residents and religious of a small Chicago suburb rallied to celebrate their so far successful campaign against the opening of a multi-million dollar “adult entertainment” club across from a convent.
“We came together as a community, as people of faith and stood together fighting for family values against what some thought was an unbreakable giant,” Sister Noemia Silva of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, Scalabrinian said at an April 22 press conference.
“It’s not only for the sisters, but for the community itself,” she told CNA in a later interview.
Outrage has erupted locally over the building of the establishment, particularly because of its location next to the missionary sisters’ convent and retirement home. Proprietors of the business have been accused of breaking state law, which requires a 1,000-foot “buffer zone” between places of worship and such businesses.
“They haven’t respected state law and so we’re going to tell them, ‘You need to respect that,” Sister Noemia Silva said. “This should not have even happened so close to a worship area.”
Although the $3 million establishment, “Get It,” was slated to open during Holy Week of 2012, it has yet to open its doors to the public largely due to community protest and a legal battle between the landowner and building owner.
Sister Noemia said the sisters, who are spread throughout 18 countries, have been praying for the intercession of St. Michael. “All of our communities are praying for this; it’s just constant, constant prayer.”
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/religious-sisters-celebrate-one-year-of-blocking-illinois-adult-club?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-04-25%2013:47:01#ixzz2RUdAXUIu
Our Church needs vocations.
It needs men and women who will commit their lives to Jesus in the absolute and total way that taking vows implies. We need priests to bring us the sacraments. We also need sisters to go out in the world and bring the love of Christ to suffering people.
However, before anything else, these vowed ones of God must be true to Christ and to His Church. I want a priest who will show me the way to heaven. I know that there is only One Way and that Way is Jesus Christ. I want a priest who will teach me and lead me in the narrow way of salvation that Jesus shows us. That means I want a priest who is faithful to the Church.
I also see the crying need for sisters to bring Jesus to sin-sick people, the world over. These are just my personal thoughts — definitely not Church teaching — but I honestly think that the loving hand of one person, lifting up another in the name of Our Lord, is a very real and personal sacrament of grace. It is not the sacraments that flow through the apostolic succession and into us when we go to confession or partake of the Eucharist. It is, rather, a personal gift of love and care that is empowered by and grows from those sacraments; a grace that is transmitted by and through the sacraments and becomes itself a kind of sacramental gift.
When the devil comes at us, he most often walks in on two feet. When the Lord Jesus shelters and care for us, he most often reaches out to us through human hands.
Sisters offer gifts that are unique to them as women. Their fidelity down through the centuries is a testament to the way that Christ works in this world through women. Sisters have built hospitals, schools and other forces of civilization all over the world. They have taught and nurtured and cared for countless people who would have been closed off the witness to Christ of a man.
“What would the Church be without you?” Pope Francis asked 800 superiors of women’s orders from around the world today.
I can answer that question, at least partially. It would not be the universal Church that speaks for all humanity. Without women, the Church is a body, cut down the middle, half of itself cast aside. It cannot function, cannot live, like that.
Pope Francis told the religious superiors that they need to ensure that the women in their orders “are educated in the doctrine of the Church, in love for the Church and in an ecclesial spirit.
“It is an absurd dichotomy to think one can live with Jesus, but without the Church, to follow Jesus outside the Church, to love Jesus and not the Church,” he said.
Here, from CNA, are quotes from the Holy Father’s speech:
In his talk to the women, Pope Francis said their vow of chastity expands their ability to give themselves to God and to others “with the tenderness, mercy and closeness of Christ.”
However, “please, let it be a fruitful chastity, a chastity that generates sons and daughters in the church. The consecrated woman is a mother, must be a mother and not a spinster,” he said. While the sisters were laughing at his use of a very colloquial Italian word for “spinster” or “old maid,” he added: “Forgive me for speaking this way, but the motherhood of consecrated life, its fertility, is important.”
Pope Francis said that just as Mary could not be understood without recognizing her role as being Jesus’ mother, the church cannot be understood without recognizing its role as being the mother of all believers. “And you are an icon of Mary and the church,” he said.
“We must never forget that true power, at any level, is service, which reached its highest point on the Cross. Think of how much damage to the people of God has been caused by men and women of the church who are careerists, climbers, who use the people, the church, their brothers and sisters — those they should be serving — as trampolines for their personal interests and ambitions,” he said. “This does great harm to the church.”