A Presence of Peace in Ferguson, Good Shepherd Gallery

 

Catholic Sisters Minister on Behalf of Nonviolence and Just Peace 

In May of 2016 LCWR’s Global Concerns Committee (GCC) endorsed the “Appeal to the Catholic Church to Re-commit to the Centrality of Gospel Nonviolence” and pledged to support action that will move the church to continue to more fully embrace the nonviolence of Jesus. Over the course of the last few months the GCC has offered stories that highlight the work of women religious on behalf of nonviolence and just peace.

A Presence of Peace in Ferguson, MO

Glynis Mary McManamon, RGS, is a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd.  She has engaged in full-time art ministry since 1998. These are her reflections . . .

The quiet town of Ferguson, Missouri has a world reputation for being anything but a place of peace.  Protests after the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer erupted into violence.  Stories and photos of Ferguson have been viewed all around the world.

Looking for a spot to open my art studio and gallery, I had repeatedly said, “Not Ferguson”.  This wasn’t due to fear, but a question about viability.  Then, a colleague turned my attention to downtown Ferguson.    I found a spot where a studio and gallery might thrive and everything fell into place.    I opened to the public on November 17, 2015.

Good Shepherd Gallery has a mission to show art that speaks to the Good Shepherd core values of mercy, reconciliation, individual worth, and zeal (God’s love in action).  The invitation is extended to children, persons with disabilities, and artists with a love for peace and justice.

My art is predominantly Byzantine- and Russian-styled iconography.  I paint classic imagery, and also use the style to speak to world issues.

I feature ethnic minorities and women.  The Good Shepherd in Ferguson icon welcomes every visitor at the door.  People seem to project their own ethnicity onto this Christ.  He has been identified as Asian, Latino, and Black. 

Becoming a neighbor of all persons in Ferguson is a blessing.  It is a blessing also to draw people into Ferguson, so they can meet the community face-to-face.  This city is trying to heal, trying to reconcile the divisions that led to the events of August 9, 2014 and all that followed.  I am grateful to be part of that healing process.

 

 

Source: LCWR Leadership Conference of Women Religious