When Springfield Dominican Sister Samuella Volk learned of the arrest of her first-grade student, Jesuit Brother Billy Menor, she was concerned! That seemed so out of character for him! Once she learned Billy's arrest was an act of conscience in protest of the conditions of migrant camps at the U.S. Mexico Border, she had something else to say:
"He’s living out what we want for him and what we’ve tried to teach to teach to all our students."
Billy never forgot the values Sister Samuella taught him. Watch the video, then learn more about our nonstop response to God's nonstop mission.
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Here's a transcript of a video interview with Springfield Dominican Sister Samuella Volk about the arrest of her former first grade student Billy Menor, who is now a Jesuit Brother. The interviewer is Sister Beth Murphy, communication director for the Springfield Dominican Sisters.
Sister Beth: I want you to see what your friend Billy has been up to, Sister Samuella.
Sister Samuella: I’m anxious to hear it.
Video: I’m hear today with other Catholics standing in solidarity in support of migrant children
who are being detained at the southern border…
Sister Beth: So, what do you think of that?
Sister Samuella: I’m not surprised at the things that flow out of his mouth.
He is gifted. And he says it as it is, he always has. And I’m very proud of him for doing this.
I’m—I’m not surprised.
Sister Beth: Now, would you like to see the video that shows him actually being arrested?
Sister Samuella: Yes.
Sister Beth: Did you ever think you’d see the day when one of your first graders was involved in such a thing?
Sister Samuella: Never. I don’t remember when children had this sort of treatment either. I can’t remember a time that we we’re praying for this intention. It’s almost inhumane. It is.
I’m not surprised that he took this stance. He has a matter of conviction. He’s got wonderful ideas of his own. I’m sure his parents would be very proud of him too. They are that kind of people. And, Billy just is doing what comes naturally, I think.
Sister Beth: He’s following though on living the Gospel, that he learned from his mom and dad and in your 1st grade classroom.
Sister Samuella: You know, he was special. I knew it from the very first year that I was with him. He was mature, he was thoughtful, he was one that was going to keep to the rules, no matter if everybody else did their thing. Not Billy. Billy’s gonna do what’s right.
It just doesn’t surprise me that he’d take ahold of something like this. That means so much to us
at this time in our lives.
Sister Beth: I can’t imagine it must be quite satisfying for you. You don’t always get to know what happens to the children that go through your classroom.
Sister Samuella: Exactly. And you know, I’ve followed him well, since I left Duluth in 2003. I remember him standing at the door crying when I was leaving. And I said, “Billy don’t cry because we are going to meet up again, many times.”
I said, “I’m just a few hours away.” An that has happened. I would bet on Billy no matter what. I think he’s got a depth about him that’s unique. At a very early age I could see it. His parents are very proud of him. He’s got a wonderful family. that encourages him.
He’s living out what we want for him and what we’ve tried to teach to teach to all our students. So I am proud to say that he is taking this stance.
Keep up Billy, Keep it up. You’ll have other chances, probably.