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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 20, 2022, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters stand in support and solidarity of the May 18, 2022, statement by the National Black Sisters’ Conference deploring the “irrational act of violence” against 10 innocent people in Buffalo on May 14, 2022, and calling on people of faith to speak out for justice. The statement follows.
As the National Black Sisters' Conference we stand in solidarity and in grief with the families of the deceased; the good citizens of Buffalo, and people of good will around the world, who are grieving this senseless taking of innocent life in the name of white supremacy.
We are outraged and saddened by this irrational act of violence, which has caused untold suffering and loss for our nation and the loved ones of the deceased. We speak their names that we might honor and never forget them.
Aaron Sutter, 55; Pearly Young, 77; Celeste Chaney, 65; Ruth Whitfield, 86; Deacon Heyward Paterson, 67; Katherine Massey, 72; Roberta Drary, 32; Margus Morrison, 52; Andre Mackneil, 53; and Geraldine Talley, 62.
They were ordinary people, who cared about their families, communities, and in large and small ways, tried to be responsible citizens and good neighbors. Now, countless lives have been shattered and are irreparable because of one act of hate-filled violence.
As people of faith we must cry out for justice! We stand in solidarity and prayer with the families of the deceased and we demand that our nation, once and for all, ACT to end gun violence, which is destroying communities of color; to denounce white supremacy and all groups that espouse hate and perpetuate violence against African Americans, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, the Jewish community, the disabled and anyone, who is labeled "different" and therefore unworthy to exist.
If we do not ACT NOW we will surely witness the demise and perhaps even the destruction of our nation, which professes to be “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.”
It is time that we begin to live these words and not simply give lip-service to them.
It is time that we eradicate the cancers of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and xenophobia.
It is time that we become the nation that our founders dared to envision even while enslaving Africans and annihilating Native Peoples.
We call upon our Catholic Bishops and all leaders of faith to work as diligently to protect the lives of the living as the lives of the unborn.
We call upon President Biden, Congress, and the Attorney General of the United States to pass sensible gun-control laws and to punish the perpetrators of hate and violence to the fullest extent of the law.
Finally, we call upon all people of good will to speak truth to power, and to work unceasingly for justice.
We must ACT NOW for tomorrow may be too late.
United in the struggle for justice,
Sister Josita Colbert, SNDdeN