Louise Simon, 66, is a nurse and a local coordinator for Mercy Associates in Forest Hills.
Some years ago, you introduced yourself to me at a meeting sponsored by Catholic Charities and said you would like to join in the effort I was promoting. Would you please tell our readers the when, where and what of that connection?
Simon: That was about 13 years ago. You were speaking at a women's spirituality retreat day at Molloy College. I sat listening to you speak about your experiences working against the death penalty and your relationship with a prisoner on death row. I was so inspired by what you were doing I knew that I had to speak with you. This was not something I was used to doing, approaching someone and being so bold as to say I wanted to be part of the work they were doing. It was something I felt compelled to do.
What motivated your interest?
I had always felt very strongly about the death penalty and a feeling that there was something that could be done to put an end to it. The thought of taking a human life was horrifying to me, but up until that point, I had not found an outlet for my desire for activism. I had done some justice and peace work with Catholic Charities, but it did not feel as if I was doing all I could. I believed there had to be something more I could do.
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