As daughters of Saint Julie Billiart, marked in Baptism to follow Jesus and participate in His liberating mission, we choose to stand with people made poor in a world increasingly divided. We see the value of human life diminished, the destruction of our earth and intolerance towards people perceived to be different, poor or abandoned. Rooted in the prophetic witness of Saint Julie, we are called and seek to be women of justice and peace in the midst of the inequality and violence of our world. We see ourselves as part of a global community seeking to transform unjust structures and systems, participating in new ways of relating which enable all of creation to experience God's goodness. This moment in history calls us to contemplative listening, ongoing dialogue and critical social analysis that moves us to ACTION.
The escalation of shootings across the United States has become epidemic. Energy among advocates who protest, make public statements and use social media also is escalating. These actions have not yet taken hold and the shootings in the United States has become not only a national embarrassment but a national tragedy.
The road to peaceful solutions seems endless. Over and over, advocates against gun violence can ask ,“Are we there yet?” “Are we almost there?” Over forty years ago, the fallout from the assassination of Martin Luther King, along with national debates about civil rights, prompted demonstration signs that also read “Are We There Yet?”
Now, sixty years after the assassination of Dr. King, violence still prevails in the United States. As passionate advocates for justice, peace and the integrity of creation, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in the United States along with colleagues and friends continue to walk together on the road to find peaceful solutions. These include legislative change and lifelong educational strategies that promote non-violence and the common good.
The question “Are we there yet?” echoes in the hearts and psyches of all who yearn for liberty and justice for all. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are not alone in this national dilemma. LCWR, Pax Christi, Sandy Hook Promise and many others are working to end mass shootings and gun violence in the United States.
As active promoters of peaceful solutions to the massive shootings and violence in our country, let our hopes for peace remain strong as, together, we make every attempt to create environments of safety for all.