Home » Features » People Are Dying of Poverty. Loretto Will Speak Up.

People Are Dying of Poverty. Loretto Will Speak Up.

Posted on July 12, 2023, by Mary Ann McGivern SL

Banner by Roberta Hudlow.
Photo by Mary Hunt

A year ago the Loretto Community marched with the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C. This year the Poor People’s Campaign met in convention in D.C. and Loretto stayed home, working and waiting to learn the next step which is turning our attention, prayers and actions toward the reality of poverty in this country. People are dying of poverty and low wages. We cannot be silent in the face of this violence. We must speak up.

The Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) shared that, “Hundreds of directly impacted and poor people, faith leaders and advocates from over 30 states traveled to Washington, D.C., to put the nation on notice that we will not be silent anymore as poverty kills 800 people every single day in this country — more than homicide, more than respiratory disease and more than opioid overdoses.”
The PPC plans a “season of intensification to shift the nation’s attention to the reality of poverty in the country, highlight poverty and low wages as an American death sentence and force elected leaders to take action to end unnecessary and avoidable murder by public policy.” During the convention members chanted, “Poverty is death and we will not be silent anymore!”

Loretto takes to heart this call.

Poverty factsheet highlights from the Poor People’s Campaign, Kairos Center, Repairers of the Breach and the Institute for Policy Studies are:

  • Poor and low-income people make up more than 40 percent of the population in 13 states.
  • As pandemic protections wind down, millions of Americans are at risk of losing their health care, including over 5 million children, 6.6 million white people, 4.6 million Hispanic/Latino people, 2.2 million Black people and over 500,000 Asian and Native people. 
  • With rising inflation, average household debt rose in every state between the last quarters of 2021 and 2022, with a third of all states now having average debt burdens of $50,000 or more.

The Poor People’s Campaign calls us to learn more about the poverty around us, and to speak up. 

  • Visit our city/county councils, our superintendents, magistrates and mayors and talk about this issue. 
  • Visit the local offices of our members of Congress and state legislators and talk about this issue.
  • Write to them all. Send them the data. 
  • Demand change. 

Too many people have been left out of our nation’s abundance. We cannot be silent.


Mary Ann McGivern SL

Mary Ann recently moved from St. Louis to the Loretto Motherhouse in Kentucky. She is searching for entry points into Marian County, Ky., civic life — funding the day care center, improving jail services, helping stop a pipeline through Bernheim Forest. She is on the roster of homilists at Loretto Chapel’s Sunday Communion service. Mary Ann has been a Sister of Loretto since 1960.
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