1987 Nov 15 – 33rd Sun Ord (Bulletin Letters)
“WHEN ONE FINDS A WORTHY WIFE, HER VALUE IS FAR BEYOND PEARLS. . .SHE REACHES OUT HER HAND TO THE POOR AND EXTENDS HER ARMS TO THE NEEDY.” Prov. 31/l0&20
Dorothy Day would have been proud of us this weekend. Over 600 people gathered at the entrance to the Nuclear Test Site outside Las Vegas, Nevada, to protest our nations continued nuclear testing. Two hundred and twenty of us crossed the property line, were arrested, given citations and released. The witness was the culmination of a three-day gathering that brought Catholic Workers from 70 different houses together to celebrate Dorothy Day’s 90th Birthday.
I had a great time! It was a much-needed boost for my sagging spirit. My natural tendency towards being a “ham” was fully exploited Friday night. I acted as Master of Ceremonies for the Catholic Worker Variety show. I took the opportunity to tell the story of my ash spi11ing episode at the White House in November of 1979 at President Carters’ Salt II briefing. It’s about a 15-minute stand-up comic routine and I couldn’t have asked for a better audience…a good time was had by all. Saturday, we had workshops and listened to talks from Archbishop Don Helder Camara, a retired Archbishop from Brazil and Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers Union. We celebrated the Eucharist Saturday night with Archbishop Camara. What the Archbishop lacked in understandable Eng1ish he made up for with universal gestures. His body language alone carried his message of love, justice and a life full of service with the poor. I really felt we were in the presence of a true saint.
The high point of the weekend was the line crossing on Sunday morning. It’s hard to convey the feeling one gets driving the 60 miles out of Las Vegas to the Nuclear Test Site, in the middle of a beautiful desert, hundreds of square miles of our nation’s nuclear testing grounds. The contrast between the beauty of the desert and the knowledge of the ongoing nuclear poisoning of these sacred lands leaves few unmoved. It was a great privilege to cross the line with all three of my traveling partners – Kathryn Epperson, Helen Tichy and my mother. As we approached the line, I spoke in their name. I identified them as grandmothers from Iowa who bring with them a concern for the survival of the planet and the future of their grandchildren. I plead that our nation’s leaders listen to those good women’s concerns and “Stop this insane Arms Race!” I then read the names of all their grandchildren as we crossed the line together. Worthy women, each of them. Mothers and grandmothers all three, whose concern for their own lead them beyond themselves to act for all of us.
“WHEN ONE FINDS A WORTHY WIFE, HER VALUE IS FAR BEYOND PEARLS. . .SHE REACHES OUT HER HAND TO THE POOR AND EXTENDS HER ARMS TO THE NEEDY.” PROV. 31/10&20