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May 25, 2022, Adrian, Michigan – The General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement, calling for common sense gun safety laws in the wake of the May 24, 2022, mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas – the third mass shooting in 10 days.
Our hearts are broken and enraged that another community in our nation has suffered the ravaging impact of mass murder at the hands of easily obtainable rapid-firing weapons. We do not know what motivated the 18-year-old to massacre 19 elementary school children and two teachers, injuring numerous others, including his grandmother. We do know that no other country in the world not at war has rampages like this on such a shatteringly recurring basis.
This is the third shooting to take place in 10 days – 10 women and men killed while peacefully shopping at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York; one person killed and five injured the next day at a Presbyterian church in Laguna Woods, California; and yesterday in Uvalde, Texas, the second deadliest school shooting in our nation’s history.
How many children and adults whose lives have been taken by gun violence in the last decade might still be alive today if our nation had common sense gun safety laws? A majority of Americans support common sense restrictions on gun ownership. We call on members of Congress to take immediate action to do just that: enact legislation that bans access to militarized assault weapons with high-capacity ammunition magazines, provides for background checks, and restricts concealed weapons, among other steps.
We pray God’s loving embrace comforts the grieving families in Uvalde, Buffalo and Laguna Woods who are suffering such devastating loss. “Our God’s love never ends. God’s mercies never stop. They are new every morning; great is God’s faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)
Members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ General Council are Sisters Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress; Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP, Vicaress and General Councilor; Frances Nadolny, OP, Administrator and General Councilor; and Patricia Harvat, OP, and Elise D. García, OP, General Councilors.
May 18, 2022, Adrian, Michigan – As members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), we Adrian Dominican Sisters strongly support this statement deploring the racial hatred and gun violence that led to the devastating loss of life in Buffalo, New York, with the mass shooting of May 14, 2022. The LCWR statement follows.
Our hearts are breaking as we once again come face to face with the racial hatred and gun violence that infect our land. The members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious extend their condolences to the Buffalo community and all who lost loved ones, friends, and neighbors and we say once more violence and white supremacy cannot stand. And we know that is not enough!
Racism is a virus, every bit as deadly as COVID-19, that has infected our nation since its inception and until we address it, people of color will continue to die, and our nation will continue to bleed. Racism, whether the institutional racism which privileges some at the expense of others or the daily acts of hate and discrimination, diminishes us all. It denies that most profound truth, that all of us are created in God’s image and each of us is entitled to lives of dignity and respect.
As women religious in a predominantly white organization, we recognize how we have been privileged. We lament our silence in the face of white supremacist ideology, and we acknowledge our complicity in institutional racism. We ask forgiveness of our sisters and brothers of color, and we pray for our nation’s healing. And we know that is not enough!
It is time for bold, decisive action. We pledge to raise our voices and to act to end the violence and white supremacy which has cost us dearly. In the wake of the horror of Buffalo, we rededicate ourselves to LCWR’s commitment to dismantle systemic racism and white privilege and effect transformative change in our hearts, our organization, and our society and we pledge anew to build God’s beloved community. We will not permit that violence and white supremacy to stand!
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1,300 members, who represent more than 38,800 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.