In Response to the Act of Violence in Parkland, FL
BY ISN STAFF | February 15, 2018 – Updated 3/7/18
In response to the shooting in Parkland, Florida (2/15/18) we offer a few resources (NOTE: This list is not exhaustive) on gun violence and Catholic teaching on this issue.
This resource was initially developed throughout 2012 after the tragic shootings at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As a network of individuals and institutions committed to justice and peace, we join the entire country in praying for the victims, their families, and those responsible, particularly in light of the continued epidemic of gun violence in the U.S. During this Lenten season, we especially pray for hope that we can collectively work for a more peaceful world.
- National School Walkout (3/14): Networking Document for schools who will be engaged in the walkout (please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your school and your role) to receive access.
- March for Our Lives (3/24): Networking Document for schools planning to attend D.C. March or local marches (please contact email@example.com with the name of your school and your role) to receive access.
- National School Walkout (4/20): Networking Document for schools who will be engaged in the walkout (please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your school and your role) to receive access.
Anti-Gun Violence Event Information
- 3/14 – National School Walkout
- 3/24 – March for Our Lives
- 4/20 – National School Walkout (19th Anniversary of Columbine Shooting)
- ‘March For Our Lives’ gun-control rally bumped from Mall by ‘talent show’ (Washington Post, 3/1/18)
- Catholic high school principals in Queens demand ‘proactive change’ in wake of Florida school shooting (Queens News Service, 3/1/18)
Statements and Letters:
- USCCB Chairmen of Domestic Justice and Education Committees Urge Concrete Actions to End Scourge of Gun Violence (3/5/18)
- Letter and video message to President Trump and Congress from Fr. Michael Sheeran, S.J., president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities;
- Letters from Jesuits Schools Network dated February 21,2018, to Congress and President Trump calling for a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high capacity ammunition, and the requirement of background checks for gun sales.
- Letter from Fr. Scott Santarosa, S.J., (Provincial of the Jesuit’s West Coast Province) dated February 18, 2018, to Jesuit school leaders in the province to listen encouraging them to listen to their students reflections on gun violence;
- Bishop Conference President Reaction to School Shooting at Florida High School (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2/14/18)
- Letters to President Obama and Congress from Jesuit Secondary Schools Association, known today as Jesuit Schools Network (2012)
- Pastoral Statement: Confronting a Culture of Violence – A Catholic Framework for Action (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1994)
- Why Demonstrating is Good for Kids (The New York Times, 3/12/18)
- What students should know about the National School Walkout (USA Today, 3/1/18)
- Catholic Social Doctrine Sheds Light on How to Combat Gun Violence (National Catholic Reporter, 2/28/18)
- These Colleges Don’t Care If You Get Suspended for Never Again Protests (USA Today, 2,/27/18)
- Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich: Listen to young people about guns (America, 2/28/18)
- Catholic colleges say peaceful gun control protests won’t impact admission (America, 2/26/18)
- Pope Francis, U.S. bishops offer prayers after another act of “horrifying evil” in Florida school shooting (America, 2/15/18)
- Shootings Demonstrate Need for Gun Control, USCCB Says (Catholic News Agency, 11/7/17)
- Gun control: Church firmly, quietly opposes firearms for civilians (U.S. Catholic, 1/14/11)
- Catholic Bishops Favor Gun Control But Who Knows It? (National Catholic Reporter, 1/11/11)
- Backgrounder on a Mercy and Peacebuilding Approach to Gun Violence (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)
- Xavier College Preparatory School “Summit on Human Dignity: Reloading Faith” Resources – In Spring 2017, Xavier hosted their yearly summit on the topic of gun violence. They have shared three collection of slides (Set #1, Set #2, Set #3) describing the ways they engaged in prayer, learning, and action throughout the week.
- Gun Violence Statistics (National Institute of Justice)
Prayer and Reflection Resources:
- Dear Parkland students: This land is your land (National Catholic Reporter)
- How Many Signs? (Ignatian Solidarity Network/Break Forth: Lent 2018)
- A Catholic parish in Parkland preaches love the first Sunday after the massacre (America)
- Can students of the Parkland massacre make a difference in U.S. gun debate? (America)
- The spiritual lessons of a school shooting on Ash Wednesday (America)
- Sad, Tired and Angry: A Prayer in the Face of Gun Violence (America Magazine, 2017)
- An Ignatian Prayer for Peace (Canisius College Campus Ministry)
- The Mystery of Pain, the Solace of Faith – A reflection by Fr. Jim Martin, S.J. on the tragedy in Newtown (New York Daily News, 2012)
- Would Jesus Pack Heat? – An interview with Fr. James Martin, S.J. (USA Today, 2012)
- Gun Control is a Pro-Life Issue (America Magazine, 2012)
This is the lamest response, like so many weak and trite responses. Our people are being slaughtered en made. Our children are unsafe outside the home. We have had mass shootings in churches, concerts, schools and businesses in the last year. And not by foreigners, but by white, American men. Catholic bishops need to get in touch with America and get out in front and LEAD us. Prayers won’t move Congress, but people rising up together, united, will. We need the church to help us stop this madness, not pacify us as our families are gunned down.
Thank you for posting these resources so quickly. As a parent and a youth minister, I appreciated having this link to share with teens and families in our parish. As one BODY we are all in shock at the escalating gun violence in our nation; especially teens against teens and against them selves. Can we as a BODY make a difference with legislation in our current government and its climate ? That’s a good question. God be with us all and especially those families who are directly suffering in this latest senseless act of violence.
Your prayers consistently fail and result in dead children. So much for your life of prayer. So much for the good that prayer does. It does nothing and you continue to let children die. Get off your fat, pampered, well fed butts, bishops, and get out into the community and protect children with your own bodies by marching for banning assault weapons or drown in the tide of history. You’re already losing millions of Catholics every year. Looks like you’ll lose even more as children continue to be killed and their loved ones and friends turn their backs on the thoughts and prayers of Catholic prelates.
Nikolas Cruz’s psychosis ended in a bloody massacre not only because of the stunning incompetence of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department. It was also the result of liberal insanity working exactly as it was intended to.