The Sun Rises on The Wings of a Dove

a story contributed by Rev Robyn Cave (New Zealand)

On the Wings of a Dove, the worldwide campaign Overcoming Violence against women and children was marked by the St Margaret's College community in Otautahi -Christchurch in Aotearoa New Zealand on Thursday 25 November 2004.

Among the first people in the world to greet the new day, the Anglican school for girls made the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women the focus for their last weekly chapel before they break for Christmas and a southern summer holiday.

A school chaplain told them the story of the three sisters, Patricia, Minerva and Maria Teresa who were violently murdered as they made their way to visit their husbands, imprisoned for their participation in the resistance movement of the Dominican Republic on November 25, 1960.

This school community of 700 Year 1 - 13 girls and young women remembered the death of these three courageous women, and the escalation of violence against women and children throughout the world.

They pondered the pregnancy of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and her willingness to take the risk of bearing the Christ, and thought about the young Nigerian single mothers who risk being stoned to death.

As a sign of solidarity with women and children who suffer violence, as a sign of their commitment to speak out against violence, and as an expression of their own potential to be bearers of the good news, the youngest girls in the school community tied purple bands around the wrists of the older girls and staff at the conclusion of their worship together.

School for these girls from St Margaret's College may finish on World AIDS day, December 1st, but wearing their purple bands over the sixteen-days campaign will remind them that the Sun has risen on the Wings of a Dove.

Submitted by:

Robyn Cave
DOV Coordinator
Conference of Churches in Aotearoa New Zealand
25 November 2004