Holy Cross sisters hold silent demonstration to end gun violence
Allison Bowman | Monday, November 6, 2023
On Saturday morning, the Sisters of the Holy Cross congregation held a silent demonstration to show their support for ending gun violence.
The nuns and students walked alongside State Road 933 holding banners and posters while the other protesters sat and held signs. The participants began their walk at 10 a.m. from the Saint Mary’s Inn and walked to Holy Cross College and back.
The participants called for stricter gun laws and gun reform as they intentionally walked in silence.
“We’ve been doing this since Good Friday, it’s the first Saturday of every month we come,” Holy Cross sister Pat McCabe said. “We don’t have an overly large group but we have a steady presence and we figure it’s the witness that counts.”
On Oct. 25, a gunman open fired at a bar and bowling alley, leaving 18 people dead and 13 injured in Lewiston, Maine.
“When I see all the terrible atrocities with gun violence, the most recent being up in Maine, there are so many things you can’t do,” McCabe said. “It’s such an overwhelming problem, and of course we pray like crazy any time we have a chance. But this is a small gesture that gives me a chance to do something.”
The protesters received both positive and negative reactions from bystanders. Many driving by signaled their support with a honk, and some pedestrians left words of encouragement when passing by. However, they were also met with a handful of negative reactions, ranging from obscene hand gestures to rude comments.
McCabe said it’s not hard to stay motivated when seeing negative reactions because of all the innocent lives that are being killed.
“It’s so different than when I grew up, now there’s really no place that’s safe,” McCabe said. “Not that we should live our lives in fear, but you can be out doing something very wonderful and someone shoots up the place because guns are so accessible.”
McCabe said the best way for students to get involved in the tri-campus community besides the silent walk is to vote.
“I think most importantly when you vote, make sure you vote for people who support gun legislation,” she said.
Rose Bednar, a sophomore at Saint Mary’s College, was among those who walked in the silent protest.
“I think this is a really important topic to support, and I think that showing support with the nuns is really emotional and moving, and it’s something that is really important to me,” Bednar said. “This movement isn’t only something that is affecting the young people in the world. Everyone can benefit from banning assault rifles. And it’s not just young people who care. Everyone can care.”