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Taking a stand: ‘Hashtag’ NoFedExecution

Update: In a late Wednesday evening ruling, U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s plan to resume federal executions, which has halted four scheduled executions, with the first scheduled for Dec. 9.

Because of this ruling, the prayer vigil scheduled for Dec. 9 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception has been postponed indefinitely.

While the federal government may appeal this ruling, we will continue our work to abolish the death penalty.

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, have a long-standing tradition of ministering to those on death row. We stand for life, not death.

Every month, many sisters gather together for a prayer vigil for any state conducting an execution. And in the past, many sisters gathered together near the federal prison in Terre Haute to conduct prayer vigils for anyone who was to be executed.

For 16 years, that chamber has remained silent. But on Dec. 9, 2019, Daniel Lewis Lee had been scheduled for execution after the federal government announced earlier this year that it will move forward with federal executions until a late Wednesday evening ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan.

On Dec. 8, Terre Haute Death Penalty Resistance will host the International Human Rights Day Death Penalty Convocation will begin at 1 p.m., at Hellmann Hall, St. Benedict Catholic Church, 111 S. 9th St., Terre Haute, IN.

Doors will open at noon with the program beginning at 1 p.m. There is a growing list of speakers planned. Click here for up-to-date information.

A press conference will take place at 5:15 p.m., followed by a march and vigil to the Federal Courthouse for the United States Southern District of Indiana. Food and fellowship will be offered back at Hellmann Hall around 6:30 p.m.

Our Leadership Team, in their July 2019 statement re-iterating the Congregation’s longstanding opposition to the death penalty, summarized quite well why we are investing so much energy and time into this ministry at this time.

“We support the life and respect the dignity of all persons and will continue in prayer for death row inmates and their families, for all victims and their families, and for legislators who weigh the decision of life or death for these inmates.” For more information or to endorse and help promote events, email info@deathpenaltyaction.org.

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Sister Barbara Battista

Sister Barbara Battista is a native of Indianapolis who currently ministers as the Congregation's Justice Promoter. She credits her social justice activism to her mother Alice's strong example. Raised in a large and extended Italian family household, Sister Barbara comes by community organizing quite naturally. She is a passionate and energetic advocate for full equity and equality for women and girls in church and society.

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1 Comment

  1. Paula Modaff, SP on November 21, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Thanks, Barbara, for your untiring commitment to this and other issues dealing with human dignity. Truly Christ speaks and works through you.

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