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Sisters of Providence Leadership Team calls for an end to gun violence

August 9, 2019

People throughout the world were both shocked and horrified this past weekend as two unthinkable acts of violence through the use of assault weapons left 31 innocent victims silenced forever.

Following the recent tragedies, former President Barack Obama issued a statement regarding the awful acts of violence. “No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do,” he said.

But his message to our country included words of encouragement, as he also said, “We are not helpless here.”

As a nation, we are not. And many Americans are standing up to declare enough is enough.

Our Congregation is proud to join the thousands of other citizens across the country to ask our federal government to take action now to prevent this continued violence from spreading.

The shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 3, left 22 persons killed and more than 20 wounded, making it the deadliest shooting of the year. And then on Sunday, Aug. 4, nine more innocent victims were killed during a shooting in Dayton, Ohio. Twenty-seven more were injured.

These dreadful acts of violence are not new. In fact, according to the non-profit agency Gun Violence Archive (GVA), there have been 255 mass shootings in the United States already this year. The organization’s definition of a mass shooting is an incident in which at least four people have been shot, not including the perpetrator.

Friday, Aug. 9, marked only the 221st day of this year. Thus, the United States is averaging more than one mass shooting per day.

According to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, approximately 36,000 Americans are killed by guns every year, and more than 100,000 are shot and injured annually. In addition, the organization states that, from 2014 to 2017, gun deaths in our country increased by 16 percent. Also, the law center says that of the 36,383 Americans killed with guns each year, 12,830 are homicides – a total of 35 percent.

We are joining the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) to ask all legislative bodies across the country to begin working together to pass laws that ban all assault weapons, require universal background checks for all sales of weapons, make trafficking in weapons a federal crime, and provide more funding for research on gun violence prevention.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love …”

The healing power of love will always triumph over hate. Words matter. Actions matter. As a nation, we must come together during these times of trouble. We must stand together and say enough is enough.

Our Congregation is committed to move forward. Let’s stand together and call for an end to this senseless gun violence. Contribute to the movement by calling your member of Congress.

We also invite you to continue to pray the closing section of our Litany of Non-Violence with us:

God of love, mercy and justice, acknowledging our complicity in those attitudes, actions and words which perpetuate violence, we beg the grace of a non-violent heart. Amen.

The General Council of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods includes:

Sister Dawn Tomaszewski, General Superior,

Sister Lisa Stallings, Vicar and General Councilor, and

Sisters Mary Beth Klingel, Jeanne Hagelskamp and Jenny Howard, General Councilors

“Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.” – Proverbs 3:29


There have been more mass shootings than days this year (CBS News, Aug. 5, 2019) – https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mass-shootings-2019-more-mass-shootings-than-days-so-far-this-year/

Gun Violence Statistics (Giffords Law Center) – https://lawcenter.giffords.org/facts/gun-violence-statistics/#totals

LCWR calls for end to gun violence (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) – https://lcwr.org/media/lcwr-calls-end-gun-violence

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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