Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at:
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
MARCH 8, 2021
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a few thoughts about the International Women’s Day. Over the years, this has become an important day celebrated by people of good will all over the World. Thousands of women, men, and children have gathered for seminars, workshops, study days, and panel discussions probing and celebrating the dignity and gifts of women throughout history. Since the recognition of women’s contribution has been compromised by sexism, misogyny, neglect, and patriarchy, the names of the real women and their particular contribution have been lost. The contemporary efforts to discover their personal reality, their actual existence, and their unique contributions are acts of justice we can ill afford to ignore.
International Women’s Day must not become an event in itself. The Day is not meant to be a one-day event by which we raise our awareness once a year. Nor must this day simply be a day of seminars and celebrations. The Day is a marker in our year reminding us to work for the full, complete, and uncompromising rights of women on each and every day of the year. The International Day is a pulse in our consciousness inviting us to integrate the wisdom of women into our lives.
This year we hear from Catherine, Mamie, Cleopatra, and Lucy. Special gratitude to Catherine Tucker for sharing her poems with us. Continue to seek out and honor the women you meet day by day. Remember the women who have touched your lives. May the voices of their wisdom bless each and every day as together, we claim our dignity, find our voices, and stand up for what is right, true, good, and beautiful.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
Executive Director with the Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project
REFLECTIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
WOMAN: In Four Acts
I don’t think so! Someone got that wrong.
One in being with the Creator?
Now that makes more sense.
She began in the cave:
Life from life.
Earth from earth.
Womb from womb.
In all her glory:
Breath, beauty, and bonding
through ancient sacred rituals
of bleeding, birthing and
…milking, (fancy that!),
And when her glorious redemption has passed,
where should woman go, of course,
but back to rest in the sacred folds of Mother.
Earth upon earth,
the great womb – mother drum-
source of life and form.
Great Grand Mother-
Old one. Wise one.
Keeper of secrets. Wield your sword of truth!
Oh, perennial gentle heart, hear me!
I call! I Wait! I listen.
I surrender, that I too, someday
out of earth should rise.
One small, brilliant beacon
joining bearers of light before me
illuminating the journey for and with my sisters.
Some of us have suffered unfathomable grief. Today we look at nine mothers who, instead of turning to sedation, resentment or bitterness on the horrible deaths of their children, made the choice to reach out to others in sympathy with kindness, compassion understanding and empathy. Even though we may not suffer this kind of grief at this moment, we too can, in our own way, turn our grief no matter how horrendous or small, into helping one another. Whether it is the death of a loved one or the loss of “normalcy’ in these times, we can make a difference in someone’s life. These women did not hold back out of fear that what they were about to do would not work or fear that they would be rejected. They pushed on because reaching out is always the right thing to do. Let us follow in their footsteps.
Mamie Till Bradley
In 1955, when Emmett Till was fourteen, Mamie, his mother, sent him to Money, Mississippi, to spend the summer visiting his cousins. Sadly, Mamie never saw her son alive again. On August 28, 1955, Emmett was abducted and brutally murdered. Why? He was accused of interacting inappropriately with a white woman in the Jim Crow south.
At her son’s funeral, Mamie made the decision to leave his coffin open. She stated: “I wanted the world to see what they did to my baby.” After thousands viewed Emmett’s body in person or through photographs, Emmett’s death became a symbol of the disparity of justice for black people in the South. Mamie Till became an educator and activist in the Civil Rights Movement. She toured the country with the NAACP, recounting Emmett’s life story including the events leading up to his death, his horrific murder, and the fraudulent trial of his murderers.
Those eyes look out from behind the grief
The World will be a better place
I claim my dignity redeeming the spilt blood of injustice
I join the parade of women testifying to a World about to be transformed
Violence and hatred will never be the final word
Cleopatra’s daughter, Hadiya Pendleton age 15, was shot and killed in 2013, while in a park near her school. Hadiya, an honor student, had recently performed with her school marching band in January 2013 at Barack Obama’s second inauguration. She was an innocent bystander as a gang feud caught her in the crossfire.
Cleopatra joined Everytown for Gun Safety and has spoken out against gun violence since Hadiya’s death. She, with her family, founded Hadiya’s Promise and Hadiya’s Foundation to advocate for peace and change. They tell the story of Hadiya to encourage young people to put down the guns and stop the violence.
We claim our dignity as we hold one another
We recognize our rights as women to be fully alive
As children of the Universe
Born of the stars
We let our light so shine
Even when darkness is stubborn
We shall rise like a blazing sun
Lucy’s son, Jordan Davis, age 17, and his friends were sitting in their car playing music in 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida. Michael Dunn told Jordan to turn down the music. The group argued leading to Michael Dunn firing 10 bullets into the car. Jordan was killed. Dunn was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
After her son’s death, Lucy ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives and was elected. In the house, she fights for gun safety laws which she believes could have saved Jordan.
Lucy wrote in a letter to her son on his 25th Birthday, “I’ve worked to honor you. I’ve taken your legacy to Congress to fight for common sense gun safety. We’re fighting every day, Jordan. We’re making a change, together.”
The tears of my sorrow is no less than my determination
To do the right thing
I stand up for what is true, just, and beautiful
While sorrow breaks my heart
Hope springs eternal
My tears will be of joy someday
For I see beyond the brokenness
In my heart I make someday now
Such a wonder, my soul can whisper!
Imagine that. And loudly!
“Come dance and play, come see!” says she.
I somehow find her hidden
encumbered in hearts
pregnant with joy of revelation
in each other!