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Catholic Sister Organizes for Peace and Justice

May 21, 2012, 2:15 pm | Posted by Nick Sementelli

The Chicago Tribune has a great profile of Sister Kathleen Desautels:

At 74, the 5-foot-2 Catholic nun is a powerhouse. She served as one of the peace guides during the big anti-NATO rally and march from downtown to Cermak Road andMichigan Avenue. Her job was to help keep protesters calm and the procession moving.

“I like to think I’m the hostess of the protest. Some people want to cause trouble or get arrested, and you can’t stop them. But others are just solid gold people who are working to change things. Sometimes they’re anxious, and one of the jobs of a peace guide is to give them information to help them feel comfortable.”

Sister Kathleen represents her religious congregation, Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, on the staff at the Chicago-based 8th Day Center for Justice, a Catholic peace and justice organization whose mission is to shake things up.

“We’re not a social services agency, and we don’t do charity work,” she said. “But we’re called to be an alternative, critical voice.

“The disparity between the rich and poor, we’ve been working on that forever, along with issues surrounding immigration, labor rights, the environment, the prison system, police brutality, women and children, wars around the world. We at 8th Day believe they’re all interconnected.”

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