As I wrote this piece for the Feast of Ascension, I heard the dreadful news of the Uvalde elemen- tary school Massacre: 19 children and 2 teachers shot by an 18 year old who, after having shot his grandma, was then shot and killed by a patrol officer. All I can think of at the moment is a vision
of those innocent souls ascending to heaven to join Jesus Christ in glory. But this is not the way they should have gone. These children and their teachers had lives to live, families to love, and purpose to fulfill. Now they seem destined to become yet another gruesome, sickening statistic. How can we consider ourselves civilized in the face of such a clear moral outrage?
Catholics are pro-life, profoundly so. But are we only concerned with those who have been untimely ripped from their mother’s womb? How pro-life are we once they are born? Where is our outrage against this? What can we do to reduce it? Maybe we all need to develop our skills in reading the danger signs. The Sandy Hook Promise website has programs we might like to look at to develop our vigilance. It transpires that someone has known about, or had well founded suspicions, concerning shooters in 4 out of 5 cases of school massacres and did not report it. SLdM campus has 19 cameras on constant surveillance; we challenge those we consider to be the lingering unknown and anything suspicious. Parents, do you know what your kids are watching on line, what groups/individuals they are corresponding with on social media? If they are secretive about these matters, that is a warning sign, and you may need to challenge them.
Finally, we must pray. Several parishioners came to the church on Tuesday to do just that, moved by the horrific loss of innocent life. Pray for the victims and their families and loved ones. Pray for an end to violence. But also pray that real steps may be taken to protect our children and communities.
May God bless you and your families, Fr. Aidan Peter CJ
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter