1992

1992 March 29 – 4th Sun Lent (Bulletin Letters)

1992 March 29 – 4th Sun Lent (Bulletin Letters)

Dear friends,

My mother, Angela, Mark Rogness of Des Moines, Mike Strong of Marion, SD, and I appeared before Federal Magistrate Judge Richard Kopf in Omaha, last Wednesday.  We were there to answer charges of violating a past ‘ban and bar’ letter stemming from our annual December 28th Feast of the Holy Innocents ‘line crossing’ at SAC Headquarters last year.

My mother and Mark plead guilty. Mike plead for a “Nuclear Free World” and “stipulated to the facts”. All three were given suspended sentences with six months’ probation.

Fully expecting to be given another six-month jail sentence, I plead innocent to buy some time and to insure my presence in Harrison County through Holy Week and the Easter services.  I took the option of being tried before a District Judge to secure a larger courtroom when the trial date is set.

Luckily, the U.S. District Judge’s schedules are so full that Judge Kopf set a May 11th trial date for me before U.S. District Judge William Cambridge. This is the earliest date the trial can take place. Judge Kopf said the May 11th date may need to be pushed even further into May to accommodate for Judge Cambridge’s full schedule.

 

  1. ANNES AND HOLY FAMILY PARISHES PASTORALE PLAN IS SHAPING UP:

The May trial date is good news for us. The added weeks will allow us to better prepare for my absence. We’ve already lined up weekend Mass coverage for when I’m in jail. Fr. Mike McLaughlin from Porstmouth will cover the weekend masses at St. Anne’s.  Fr. Jim Kiernan will cover the Sunday mass at Holy Family. The Joint Committee is in the process of presenting to the Parish Councils a proposal to hire a part-time “Pastoral Assistant” to take the place of Sr. Therese  and help supplement for the times that I am out of the county doing peace and justice work.

My going to jail need not be viewed as a totally negative experience for the life of our parishes. This time though, both parishes are involved in deciding how your needs will be met while I am away. Fr. Jim and Fr. Mike’s generous offers to take the weekend masses is a major contribution to insuring a steady and consistent priestly presence. The Joint Committee’s proposal for hiring a part-time Pastoral Assistant is part of an overall Pastoral Plan in which both parishes are given more and more say and responsibility for the every day life of their parish communities.

What you people of St. Anne’s and Holy Family  are doing for yourselves today, prefigures what you will need to be doing in the future to keep your parishes alive. My going to jail need not be viewed in a totally negative way. A positive attitude by all concerned will make a real difference in how well we weather the next few months.

What you people of St. Anne’s and Holy Family  are doing for yourselves today, prefigures what you will need to be doing in the future to keep your parishes alive. My going to jail need not be viewed in a totally negative way. A positive attitude by all concerned will make a real difference in how well we weather the next few months.

 

(Angela Cordaro’s statement  to Judge Kopf before her sentencing March 25, 1992)

I have just returned from the 11th Annual Franciscan’s Lenten Desert Experience in Nevada. We were there at our Nuclear Testing site seeking healing, and expressing our prayerful Protest to the United States continued testing of Nuclear Weapons.

Your honor, I love my country.  It has become a disturbed and troubled love. Something is very wrong.  What have we become?  Where are we going?

How can we be children of God and keep doing what we are doing to our Earth and our fellow human beings?  Doesn’t it bother you??  Don’t you care??

Less than half of the people eligible to vote in this country vote. Are we so satisfied with our government, so content with our own little world that we don’t care? Or are we too lazy to do anything about it??  This bothers me…

The people with the most wealth control our country.  We are creating our own Third World experience within our borders with our growing number of poor people.  Is this right?

Your honor, I love my country, but she has become a stranger to me.  There is so much that needs to be undone.  What about what we did, and are still doing, to our Native Americans??  I can go on and on, Judge but I will not take any more of your time.

I crossed the line at SAC to say “no” to the insanity of Nuclear Weapons and “yes” to meeting the basic needs of our human family, especially the needs of the poor. This is why I am here today.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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