A Blessed Visit by Representative John Lewis

October 26, 2016

Tears, laughter and memories were shared during Representative John Lewis’ first visit to the Motherhouse on October 26. Lewis was in town campaigning for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and decided to make the personal visit to pay tribute to the Sisters who saved his life at Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma, Alabama on “Bloody Sunday.” As Lewis walked through the Motherhouse, he paused to read and reflect on the history wall. Sister Sharon Bailey then welcomed him into the dining room which was packed with Sisters, friends and employees. Lewis walked from table to table, taking several moments to shake hands, embrace Sisters and share a kind word or remembrance. Shortly after introductions from Sister Beth LeValley and Congresswoman Slaughter, Lewis took to the podium and spoke before the group. He became emotional as he reflected on the day more than 50 years ago when as a young civil rights marcher he was nearly beaten to death on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

“You saved me at Good Samaritan. I was in bad shape. I had a concussion. I thought I was going to die. I thought I saw death. But with your help, the help of God almighty, I’m still here,” said Lewis. “Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to make our world a better place.”

While visiting, Lewis also got to see the stained-glass window from the Good Samaritan Hospital chapel that is proudly displayed in the Motherhouse. He said the sight brought tears to his eyes. Lewis concluded his visit by sharing a prayer with the Sisters.

Lewis’ last visit to Rochester was in May of 2014 when Sister Barbara Lum invited him to be the guest speaker at the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center (REOC) graduation ceremony.


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