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Wheaton Franciscan JPIC Office Statement On Gun Violence

February 2018

The Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation Office of the Wheaton Franciscans (US Province of the Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary-FCJM) strongly rejects violence, whether it is the violence of war, torture, racism, homophobia, gun violence in our cities and towns, or mass shootings at social gatherings, places of worship or schools.  As Franciscans, non-violence and peacemaking is central to our way of life.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and families of the latest school shooting in Parkland, FL at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February and we join the students around the country and their families who are mobilizing to demand an end to this violence and to call for concrete legislative action to ban semi-automatic assault weapons, bump stocks that can turn rifles into the equivalent of machine guns, and high-capacity ammunition magazines.  These magazines and assault weapons are not useful for any legitimate purpose such as hunting or target sports, but are only useful for killing—and killing as quickly as possible.  They have no place in civilian society and should be banned immediately. 

The Parkland school shooting is the 18th since January 1, 2018 and the 291st since the Sandy Hook School shooting on December 14, 2012.  The time for mere outrage is over.  The time for action is NOW!  We call on all those who believe in non-violence and responsible gun ownership to support the survivors of the Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in calling for legislative action.  Further, we urge all to join the Marches that will be taking place on March 24th around the country to end gun violence.  Whether through prayer, solidarity, or in person presence, we can all make a difference and thereby begin to create the country we hope to become. 

May Jesus’ example of peacemaking and non-violence strengthen our resolve to create a culture of non-violence in our country and in our world.   


 

On March 24th there will be a young people’s march in Washington DC to demand an end to gun violence in our country.  At the same time, there will be marches all over the country calling for an end to gun violence and immediate legislative action to pass laws that ban semi-automatic assault weapons, bump stock attachments that turn rifles into the equivalent of machine guns, and high capacity ammunition magazines.   In Chicago, people will gather at 11AM in the Daley Center Plaza to participate in Chicago’s “March For Our Lives”.  Sisters Sylvia and Bea, and Covenant Companion Theresa Puchley and Joann Hambor will be participating.  We encourage any of you who are able and feel strongly about this issue to join us and thousands of others in the Daley Center Plaza as we “march for our lives” and for the lives of all those who continue to suffer as a consequence of gun violence.  We also urge all of you to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections—make your voice heard at the ballot box!


 

Urgent Request for Prayers

 

A catastrophic humanitarian disaster is unfolding in the Nineveh region of northern Iraq.  ISIS (now known as the Islamic State-IS) have taken over the town of Quaragosh which is home to nearly ¼ of Iraq’s Christians.  These people are now fleeing for their lives to escape certain death.  "It's a catastrophe, a tragic situation: tens of thousands of terrified people are being displaced as we speak," said Joseph Thomas, the Chaldean archbishop of the northern city of Kirkuk.

Eyewitnesses in Qaraqosh said IS militants were taking down crosses in churches and burning religious manuscripts.  Pope Francis has made an impassioned appeal to the international community to do much more to address the crisis.  A Vatican statement said the Pope had appealed for "all necessary help" to be given to those forced to flee their homes, "whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others".  And Minority Rights Group International has warned that Iraq's multi-ethnic future is now at grave risk.  (to read more go to http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28686998)

Please hold all the people affected by this tragedy in you love and prayers.  Let us send out the power of love and peace to them and to the IS so that this slaughter and bloodshed and intimidation will stop!


 

The DuPage Coffeehouse provides a time and a place for people to regularly and respectfully share their dreams and concerns about our community and how we can improve it for generations to come.

The DuPage Coffeehouse meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 7 to 9 PM at the Tau Center, hosted by the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters – FOLLOW THE SIGNS TO ENTRANCE #5 – 26W171 Roosevelt Road, Wheaton, IL, 60189.

For more information on this event, click here.


 

Immigration Reform
 

During the recent LCWR conference, Immigration Reform was named as one of the most important justice and peace issue facing the U.S.  LCWR members invited religious leaders to take the lead in support of comprehensive immigration reform.  Read more and respond.


 

Pope Francis announces global prayer vigil for peace on Sept. 7th -  Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Join the Catholic community and people of faith across the country in prayer and action.  Contact your two U.S. Senators and your Representative and urge them to vote against a resolution authorizing the use of military force in Syria. Instead, ask them to support U.S. leadership, in collaboration with the international community, for an immediate cease fire in Syria and serious, inclusive negotiations for peace. Read more and take action.