Every day we read about the ever escalating instances of violence in our cities - senseless murders of children, of people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As the numbers of murders escalate, so too does fear. Too often the problem is addressed by buying guns. Handguns and assault weapons seem to be the quick and easy solution.
In cities around the country, faith groups and concerned citizens are coming together to stand in solidarity with survivors of gun violence and families who have lost loved ones to gun violence. They often come together in prayer to support those who continue to mourn.
Following the Dominican Sisters of Peace 2011 Assembly, the Peace and Nonviolence Committee began discussing how we, Sisters and Associates who claim the name of peace, can stand in solidarity with those touched by violence. Currently we are working with other concerned citizens in Columbus, Ohio, to establish monthly prayer services for victims of violence and hope to do the same in other areas of the country. Click here for a short prayer for victims of violence.
In the meantime, we asked Sr. Maxine Shonk to create a prayer that could be used with others gathered at the scene of a crime (click here) or adapted for a Motherhouse, school, or other settings; this says clearly that we are in solidarity with all victims of violence and their survivors. Our thanks to Sr. Maxine for this beautiful prayer.
If you are interested in establishing a group to come together in prayer for an end to violence in your area please contact me by leaving a comment. I will happy to work with you on this most important effort.