With just two weeks until election day, Viatorians are stepping up their efforts to encourage residents to vote.
For the past several Fridays, local Viatorians have joined with their neighbors in front of First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights for an hour-long vigil. The purpose is to encourage passing motorists to vote in the upcoming election and to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
On a recent Friday, Pre-Associate Jason Wilhite joined with Fr. Corey Brost, Br. John Eustice, Bishop Christopher Glancy and Br. Michael Gosch in holding up signs in front of the church, which is located one mile east of the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights. Previous participants have included Fr. Charles Bolser and students from Saint Viator High School.
The vigils will be held every Friday in October leading up to the election.
Allison Anderson of the First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights is one of three organizers of these faith-based vigils. She stresses that these vote vigils are non-partisan. No one can participate with a sign for a specific candidate.
“Our focus has been anti-racism, standing for justice, loving boldly,” Anderson says. “Black lives matter to us, and to God. We stand against the unjust, unloving, anti-Christian ways that society and the church have treated black members of our human family. We stand for beloved community.”
As the Coordinator for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Viatorian Community, Br. Michael Gosch stresses the importance of exercising one’s right to vote.
“No one can tell another person how to vote,” Br. Gosch says. “It is up to each of us to vote one’s conscience keeping in mind the common good of all people.”