In one of the latest grassroots efforts to show support for the nuns criticized in a recent Vatican report, a group of Catholics from Cincinnati, Ohio, has collected about 650 signatures – and more than $6,500 in small donations – for a one-page ad scheduled to run in Sunday’s (May 27) Cincinnati Enquirer.
“The mail’s been arriving, with very sweet notes that we’re trying to save,” said Chris Schroeder, one of the project organizers. Accompanying the $10-$25 checks are words of gratitude for the work of sisters, Schroeder said, but also messages that show people’s anger at the situation.
In the weeks since the Vatican’s Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a report criticizing the work of U.S. nuns, and placing the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) under the authority of an archbishop, pockets of Catholics across the country have organized dozens of vigils, rallies and prayer services to show support for the nuns and draw attention to the issue.
But despite these efforts – and a number of national media stories – Schroeder said she found that many Cincinnati-area Catholics hadn’t heard about the Vatican action, so she and a few others decided they wanted to “spread the word.” They reached out to their email networks, and the checks started coming in within a few days.
“We can’t talk about it at church, so it’s all grassroots, underground, done around the kitchen table here,” said Schroeder, a retired nurse. “A group of four, five of us started it, and it has grown.”
The group, Solidarity for Sisters – Greater Cincinnati Region, has also organized vigils to support Catholic nuns, and put together a Facebook page to help spread the word.