Campus Ministry Hosts Gathering at Bell Tower in Support of Non-Violence

June 1, 2022
Gathering at the Bell Tower

On Thursday, May 26 members of the GMercyU community came together to show support for the lives lost in the mass shootings that have occurred across the nation recently.

"I think it was an important gathering for our community. It allowed us to show our grif and emotions about therecent mass shootings with one another and invited everyone to reflect on how to take action on this urgent issue. There were no easy answers, but my hope is that our community recognizes that things will change if we can sustain doing 'small things with great love' together," Jeff Wallace, Director of Campus Ministry, said.

Attendees were given a space to pray and express their grief over the gun violence that has impacted the world within the past two weeks. It served as an opportunity for members of our community to pray together and share resources that assist in curbing gun violence across the nation. Attendees shared sentiments of anger, hopelessness, and an urgent desire to take action, and receited a prayer together by Father James Martin, SJ.

"I am grateful to Jeff Wallace for organizing a gathering where we can come together after the murders of 19 precious children and 2 of their dedicated teachers. We are also still numb from the racist murders of 10 innocent people in a Buffalo grocery story and the list goes on. As hard as it is, it was helpful to be together to share our grief, pain, anger, sadness, and exhaustion from gun violence. We prayed and we also presented resources to take action, as I feel we must, to foster change in policies that will aid in reducing gun violence," said President Deanne H. D'Emilio, JD.

The Sister of Mercy released an official statement on the Uvalde shooting stating:

"With broken hearts, we stand with the mothers and fathers and all loved ones grieving the children and teachers whose lives were brutally taken at school in Uvalde, Texas. We stand with the community of Uvalde, who must bear this tragic burden and loss. We grieve, but not as those who have no hope. And we pray because we believe there is another way for us to live, a way rooted in love, in faith, in nonviolence, and a way that holds all human life sacred and holds all communities beloved.

Even as we offer solidarity through lament and prayer, we refuse to accept a world in which thoughts and prayers are offered without meaningful policy change to address the crisis of gun violence in this country. While we grieve alongside the families and community in Uvalde and all those still grieving in Buffalo, we renew our call on state legislature and Congress to enact more comprehensive laws limiting access to deadly weapons."

If you want to enact change, utilize the resources provided below.

  • Text "ACT" to 664-33 to receive action updates from Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Text "BRADY" to 877-877 to receive action updates from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Download the "Demand Action" app to connect with others in our local community working with Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Download the "Philly Truce" app to help curb gun violence in Philadelphia

Other Actions to Take

  •  Vote: PA General Election takes place on November 8; check your voter registration status, register to vote, and/or request a mail-in ballot, by visiting vote.pa.gov.
  • Research: learn how your senators and representatives have voted on legislation related to violence (gun violence or otherwise) by visiting www.govtrack.us. Learn about statistics related to gun violence by visiting any of the organizations listed below.
  • Donate: contribute to any of the organizations listed below.
  • Advocate: sign petitions, organize phone banks, and schedule in-person visits wtih lawmakers to push for anti-violence legislation.

Organizations Advocating for Gun Safety and Reform

Organizations that Promote Non-Violence