Rector’s Statement Regarding Uvalde Shooting

Rector’s Statement Regarding Uvalde Shooting

two candles

Though we were on a ship with limited access to the internet and social media last week, the news did make its way of the horrific murders at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. One of our dinner companions for the week was a retired schoolteacher. The pain in her face was palpable as we heard the news of what had happened.

We stand horrified at the incomprehensible. We feel anguish, anxiety and helplessness. The shooter took bright, beautiful people — primarily young children — from us. Others were terribly injured, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and will suffer for the rest of their lives. As will all their families.

The Bishops of Virginia released a statement last week about the shooting, and they asked, “How long, people of America?” Indeed, how long before we make, and enforce, sensible laws.

When I moved to Virginia, I realized it is more complicated to get a driver’s license than purchase multiple guns. You also must be 21 to buy alcohol or cigarettes. There is a national database and limit for purchases of pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). These and others are the minimum common sense policies we must implement on the federal level if we genuinely want to honor the memories of gun violence victims. We must no longer stand by quietly. Instead we must fight loudly for change. We must ensure tragedies such as these never again occur on American soil.

We will be tempted to hate. Remember what Martin Luther King said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness – only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate – only love can do that.” As we fight for change and debate what changes are necessary, let us be reminded of the words of former President Theodore Roosevelt: “It is hard to fail, but it is worse to never to have tried to succeed.” 

Let us remember each person who died. Let us not forget their names or their families. As we remember, surely we are called to be and to do better.

Jacklyn Cazares.
Makenna Lee Elrod.
Jose Manuel Flores, Jr.
Eliahna Garcia.
Irma Garcia.
Joe Garcia.
Uziyah Garcia.  
Amerie Jo Garza. 
Xavier Javier Lopez.
Jayce Carmelo Luevanos.
Tess Marie Mata.
Miranda Mathis.
Eva Mireles.
Alithia Ramirez.
Annabell Rodriguez.
Maite Rodriguez.
Alexandria Rubio.
Layla Salazar.
Jailah Nicole Silguero.
Eliahana Cruz Torres.
Rojelio Torres.

“Gracious God of light and life, draw us near that we may feel the power of life with you. Grant us comfort in the face of tragedy, grace in the time of trouble. Be with us. Speak to us now your words of eternal life. Raise us from the depths of anxiety, fear and guilt, reminding us that it is surely you who saves us. Bless those who mourn this day. Surround them with your love. Bring all your beloved children to the glory of your kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”