A day of prayer in song and silence ended with the arrest of four activists on August 9 at Peterson AFB, Colorado, home of the U.S. Space Command and command center for U.S. nuclear armed missiles. Approximately sixty Roman Catholic Sisters - , Benedictines, Franciscans, Sisters of Charity, Mercy and Loretto, from Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, California, Kansas, Minnesota and Ohio- were joined by about fifty men and women from various denominations on this 57th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. |
The day began when a hundred or so Sisters and local peace activists met at St. Mary's Cathedral to celebrate a Mass for Peace with coadjutor Bishop Michael Sheridan and share a meal.
By afternoon more Sisters had arrived and all gathered in a field about a mile and a half from Peterson AFB. From there a prayerful "pilgrimage" proceeded to the Base. The silent walkers carried colorful banners sent by Sisters from around the country who were unable to be present. At Peterson all assembled in a grassy area outside the gate for an hour of song, silent prayer, and shared reflections. The vigil culminated with the arrests of Sisters Dorothy Schlaeger OSF, Barbara Huber S.C., Mennonite Esther Kisamore, and Dennis Apuan of the First Congregational Church. The four had walked onto the base in a symbolic gesture to reclaim it for peaceful purposes. Dorothy, Barbara, Dennis and Esther face a trespassing charge punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine and will be arraigned September 5 in Municipal Court.