Journey to Montgomery
In mid-February, 12 Loretto Link members and friends took a journey to Montgomery, Ala. The trip was initiated and orchestrated by members of the Loretto Link Good Trouble Working Group, especially Carolyn Jaramillo, Eleanor Craig and Paulette Peterson. We connected with many black women who are now, and have for many years, been deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement.
Their gracious spirit of welcome was an overwhelming gift. All of us appreciated being there as a Loretto group and sharing feelings and experiences with each other. We saw and learned so much and came away knowing there is so much more to learn and live from. The following reflections, accounts, stories, comments are an attempt to share a taste of this trip with others.
The Loretto Link Civil Rights Trip to Montgomery was truly a transformative experience. Both the Legacy Museum and our service at the John Lewis Memorial at the Edmund Pettus Bridge were deeply moving. It was a privilege to walk across the bridge, the place where suffering and fear were overcome by sheer courage. We all felt we were on sacred ground.
At one exhibit in the Legacy Museum, I was so overwhelmed that I began to cry and shake. A kind guard saw me, quietly approached me, gave me tissues and gently patted my hand. Her kindness strengthened me for the rest of the exhibits. These difficult moments were softened by the kind, generous, delightful women we met through Mary Boone. I can talk nonstop about them. Mary was so instrumental in finding us comfortable lodging and introducing us to her many activist friends. We enjoyed each other’s company and they thanked us many times for coming and wanting to learn. Minetta Hare, one of this lovely group, summed up our connection, “You are the Sisters of Loretto and we are the Sistas of Montgomery — all sisters!” I am so grateful for all the people we met, and I look forward to the Sistas visiting the Motherhouse!Carolyn Jaramillo
“For me the time in Montgomery was a time of deep reflection. I think I was taken by the fundamental base of the national economy that was built on slavery. The walk through the depiction of lynching only brought to mind the entrenched mindset of white supremacy. I encourage others to make a trip to Montgomery.” (Maria Visse)“I, who am almost never at a loss for words, have been struggling to put my experience in Alabama into words. For almost nine years, I was at the United Nations advocating for Loretto’s values, relying on words both written and spoken to convey Loretto’s message of peace and justice. But I have come home from the powerful images and experiences in Montgomery and Selma with an overwhelming and deep sadness at what we have done and are capable of doing again. I had a therapist who taught me about the place inside us where there are no words, and that seems to be where my feelings and reactions reside, at least for now. I am deeply grateful to Loretto Link and the Good Trouble Working Group for making this experience possible for me.”Sally Dunne