Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Rose for Sister Mary

By Erik Camayd-Freixas

When the Iowa Department of Human Rights awarded the 2009 Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice to Sister Mary McCauley for her defense of community after the Postville raid, she humbly said: “It is our duty to work for equality and justice.”

These are just the latest of this brave woman’s history-bound words in a ministry that started the day of the raid, May 12, 2008, when she summoned Father Paul Ouderkirk out of retirement with a phone call: “Father, we need a collar down here.” Ever since, she has been a pillar of strength and inspiration to many in Postville and across the country.

When I was inside Waterloo’s National Cattle Congress, interpreting the misguided prosecutions and watching authorities sworn to uphold the Constitution deny it to 389 ragged workers in chains and tears, I was reminded of Orwell’s Animal Farm: All are equal under the law, “but some are more equal than others.” I was dumbfounded, confused, and afraid, with no one to turn to for guidance on equality and justice. That is when I found Sister Mary.

Click here to read the full Op-ed