Indifference is not an option

Benedictine Oblates Neil and Margie Himber, pictured here on the left and the right.

“Indifference is not an option,” say Benedictine Oblates Neil and Margie Himber.

“Margie and I feel compelled as disciples of Jesus, and followers of the Rule of Benedict, to take responsibility for the quality of life in our local community, our church and the world at large,” explains Neil. “In his 2016 World Day of Peace message, Pope Francis challenged us to overcome indifference to win peace. He states, ‘indifference shows itself in lack of concern for what is happening around us, especially if it does not touch us directly. Some people prefer not to ask questions or seek answers; they lead lives of comfort, deaf to the cry of those who suffer.’ So, we feel we must get involved and work for the common good.”

In addition to being oblates of Mount St. Benedict Monastery, the Himbers are members of Benedictines for Peace and also of their local chapter of INDIVISIBLE, a nationwide grassroots resistance movement founded by Congressional staffers in response to the Tea Party agenda some years ago. “We meet twice monthly and promote progressive public policies built on inclusion, tolerance and fairness,” explains Neil. 

Over the past few years, the group has held vigils from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Friday evenings in front of the Warren County Courthouse. “Our most recent vigil was in response to the latest assault weapon killings in Buffalo and Uvalde,” Margie said. The group advocates regularly for justice on many issues, including affordable health care, fair districting, voting rights, environmental protection, immigration reform, protect social security, Black lives matter, and others. And, on several occasions during the past couple of years, they have publicly demonstrated for common-sense gun laws.