On March 23, 2016, as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the Little Sisters of the Poor and many other religious organizations, Women Speak for Themselves members across the country, living near many Little Sisters’ homes, participated in Nationwide Day of Service in support of their right to serve.
Unseen by most, the Little Sisters of the Poor care for the elderly poor in communities around the nation. The Little Sisters were reluctantly thrust into the national spotlight because the federal government is requiring them to allow contraception and early abortion drugs to be attached to the health insurance policies they provide their employees. If they refuse, they will suffer crushing fines.
As the Little Sisters had their big day in Court to challenge the government mandate, WSFT members gathered in 15 of the Little Sisters’ homes.
The day was a truly transformative experience for many participants. One volunteer, a medical student, commented that after meeting the Sisters she now understood what it meant to give your life in service to others.
Other volunteers expressed feeling deeply nurtured by the example of the Sisters. Though they participated in order to help the Sisters and not the other way around, one volunteer reflected: “something else happened that day, as is common when laypersons enter into the world of religious, we were served intellectually, morally, and emotionally.”
For the Little Sisters, the presence of friendly faces in their homes helped diffuse some understandable anxiety many were experiencing while the Supreme Court debated their case far away in Washington. As one Sister told a group of volunteers: “Your visit took the tension out of the day for us.”
Read the volunteer reflections here.
Volunteers served at homes in the following cities.
St. Louis, MO
Kansas City, MO
St. Paul, MN
View the gallery:
Women Speak for Themselves (womenspeakforthemselves.com) is a nationwide movement of women who promote the progress of religious freedom and women’s freedom together.