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June: Recognizing Torture Awareness Month

Sisters Ann Casper (from left), Rita Clare Gerardot and Donna Butler wear orange ribbons orange ribbons for Torture Awareness Month.

Sisters Ann Casper (from left), Rita Clare Gerardot and Donna Butler wear orange ribbons for Torture Awareness Month.

“Thank God our time is now when wrong comes up to meet us everywhere never to leave us till we take the greatest stride of the soul man (humanity) ever took.” – Christopher Fry

Truly, we have only to listen to or read the news to know that wrong is coming up to meet us everywhere.

While there are so many issues in the month of June, we want to focus especially on the issue of torture as it exists within the United States criminal justice system.

The death penalty, issues of racism, mass incarceration, solitary confinement, mental illness, sentencing patterns, juveniles treated as adults – all of these call us to awareness and action. Added to that, Guantanamo prisoners are still being held without charge or trial under horrific interrogation techniques.

The National Religious Campaign against Torture (NRCAT) invites us to mark Torture Awareness Month by joining with people of faith and conscience nationwide as we stand in solidarity with survivors of torture and issue a moral call for human rights for all.

The NRCAT website is filled with information and suggested activities to raise awareness. In light of the Litany of Nonviolence many of us pray, let us seize the opportunity to make a difference in our world.

For more information, see Eighth Day Center for Justice Centering’s informative issue on the U.S. criminal justice system.

We are posting this early so you can look ahead to prepare for activities in your local setting.

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Sister Donna Butler

Sister Donna Butler has been a Sister of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for more than 60 years. Sister Donna has served in elementary education, parish ministry, diocesan social justice, as well as the Congregation’s liturgy office, archives department and social justice outreach. She also administered as the director of the Providence Volunteer Ministry. Sister Donna currently volunteers in outreach with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students.

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