The Social Awareness Committee was established in 1970 with the intention of educating the local community on issues of social issues. The committee is comprised of: Sister Rosalie Ruesewald, OSB, who is the Chair of the committee, Sister Ann Michelle Raley, OSB, Sr. Barbara Bock; Sister Alice O’Brien, OSB, and Oblate Kathy Jarvis.
The committee meets montly and is involved in local events such as monthly peace vigils and nationwide movements such as Bread for the World, “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and Earth care. It also sponsors a monthly speaker or film on timely topics – The Nonviolent Jesus, Fracking, Trafficking, The Forgotten Bomb – which are open to the local community.
In the past the committee has focused on topics such as the death penalty, inclusive language and women’s issues. In recent years, the Advocacy for Immigrants – a ministry of building bridges and accompaniment – has been added.
For Whom The Bell Tolls
A silent peace vigil is held at noon on the first Sunday of every month (@ Creekmore Park, Rogers Ave., Fort Smith, AR) to witness to peace and justice. Each vigil ends with the reading the names of the U.S. casualties of the previous month, prayer, and the solemn playing of Taps on bagpipes. Such vigils, along with candlelight events, led to the formation of a local interfaith group called “Justpeace.”