Vigil Guidelines for National Call for Prayer and Vigils at local Catholic Chanceries, November 9, 2004

Gandhi taught, "We must be the change we seek." Remember that the bishops are victims of untruth and/or fear. As we vigil, always keep in mind that they are victims also.

Seven Soulforce beliefs about our adversaries:

  1. My adversary is also a child of the Creator; we are both members of the same human family; we are sisters and brothers in need of reconciliation.
  2. My adversary is not my enemy, but a victim of misinformation as I have been.
  3. My only task is to bring my adversary truth in love* (nonviolence) relentlessly.
  4. My adversary’s motives are as pure as mine and of no relevance to our discussion.
  5. My worst adversary has an amazing potential for positive change.
  6. My adversary may have an insight into truth that I do not have.
  7. My adversary and I will understand each other and come to a new position that will satisfy us both, if we conduct our search for truth guided by the principles of love.

Guidelines for Soulforce Vigils

1) Prepare spiritually, mentally and physically in order to put yourself into a nonviolent atmosphere. We recommend spending some time meditating on the pledge to nonviolence (see bottom of this page) that all Soulforce volunteers take prior to a vigil.

2) In a spirit of love and nonvioolence seek reconciliation not victory

3) Conduct ourselves respectfully and demonstrate and observe rules of common courtesy, communication and mutual respect with friend and foe alike

4) Practice care and due diligence for the safety and well being of ourselves and others including our advesary.

5) We vigil with means and methods as pure and honorable as the goals we seek to achieve.


  1. As I prepare for this direct action, I will meditate regularly on the life and teachings of Gandhi and King and other truth-seekers.
  2. I will remember that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory.
  3. I will walk and talk in the manner of love and nonviolence.
  4. I will contemplate daily what I can do so that all can be free.
  5. I will sacrifice my own personal wishes that all might be free.
  6. I will observe with friend and foes the ordinary rules of courtesy.
  7. I will perform regular service for others and for the world.
  8. I will refrain from violence of fist, tongue and heart.
  9. I will strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
  10. I will follow the directions of the squad leaders and other Soulforce leaders on our nonviolent direct actions.

All people taking part in a vigil must sign the pledge to nonviolence. Click here to link to a pdf file of the Pledge to Nonviolence, print it out, sign it, and carry it with you as you vigil.

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