|Front: Joan Brown, Karen Golis, Annie Olsen (Heinrich staff), Loretta Sanchez, Betty Drobnik. Back: Will Drobnick, Ellen Buelow|
By Ellen Buelow
|A meeting with Rachel Hadland of the Arnold-Jones' campaign|
When our small group decided to visit the candidates for the New Mexico First Congressional District and the U.S. Senate, we came equipped with the fruit of our city wide prayer vigil and letters of petition with 25 to 30 signatures each.
Strengthening our commitment was a bond of JustFaith formation and supportive prayer, but most of us were new to Congressional visits.
|With Bryce Dustman of the Wilson campaign|
Betty and Will Drobnick are JustFaith Coordinators for the Santa Fe Diocese. Betty shared her past work experience with clients applying for food stamps emphasizing the majority were working families. Will related his volunteer work at St. Felix Food Pantry in Rio Rancho.
Karen Golis mentors women leaving prison, and recently participated in Family Promise, a safety net for recently homeless families organized by Albuquerque churches. Holy Rosary Catholic Community, home parish for three of us, is part of this ministry.
|With Dominic Gabello of the Lujan Grisham campaign|
Ellen Buelow volunteers with Catholic Charities Refugee Relief Services and the School Readiness Program. Ellen related her observations of a Somali teenager who suffers from early malnutrition that led to retardation. Climate change in Africa, drought and food shortages combine to uproot African refugees.
Larry Buelow, a volunteer with Catholic Charities who tutors refugee teens in science and math, shared his experience as Congressional liason with Lockheed Martin. Larry noted that advocacy for poor and vulnerable people has traditionally not carried the same weight as providing jobs.
As we shared the stories and voices heard in our ministries, we realized synergy and strength of the voice of God’s Spirit in this witness. Although the impact of this witness isn’t apparent now, we wait expectantly for our Candidates to use our stories and create positive change for the people of New Mexico.
(Photos Courtesy of Ellen Buelow)