Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In memory of Sister Karen Klimczak, the people are showing unity and working for peace

When Sister Karen Klimczak died (link), I worried about the reaction. I worried that some people would take the opportunity to speak in the name of the violence she fought against. But that is not happening. A life of love is spreading peace (link):

At the base of the altar was a dove-shaped sign. On it was a slogan Sister Karen came up with, part of a non-violence campaign she hoped to launch.

The sign read: "I Leave Peaceprints."

She hoped it would inspire people to leave peace behind them wherever they go. Since the funeral, more than 4,000 signs have gone out, with more being made each day, and they've sprung like flowers on lawns across Buffalo.

Rather than turn people against ex-offenders like Lynch, Sister Karen's death has brought greater commitment to the work she did. Anonymous checks have come in to Bissonette House to ensure it keeps running. Volunteers have come forward.

"If she would have known that her death would have had such a ripple effect, she would've said, `So be it,'" said Sister Roz Rosolowski, a chaplain at Attica prison and longtime friend of Sister Karen's. "What keeps a lot of us going is the drive to continue this work in her name. And it has just caught fire."

The people of Buffalo have lost someone who will never be replaced, yet there is little anger to be found this spring. Instead, there is resolve and focus. Determination and forgiveness.

There is a sense of ease, it seems, in the knowledge that Sister Karen hasn't gone far.

She's still leaving peaceprints. Everywhere.

May the Lord bless all those who seek peace.

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