DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > A call to prayer for the violence in Texas and elsewhere

A call to prayer for the violence in Texas and elsewhere

A candle is lighted during a vigil.
(DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)

We are living in times of growing violence. Less than two weeks ago, we were confronted by the racially driven mass murder in Buffalo. There was a mass shooting in downtown Chicago last Thursday, and gun violence continues throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods, which leaves us constantly worried.

Yesterday, at 11:32 a.m., the laughter and learning ringing through the halls of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., was shattered as the lives of children and those who cared for them were cut short. Yesterday, today, week in and week out, we share the sigh of St. Vincent as he lamented, "Oh! With what tender pity and love do we regard one ... when we see them walking in a path that leads to sorrow and pain." (St. Vincent, Volume 1, p. 212)

We are surrounded by images of violence. We are called to wrestle with how to respond to the devastation, death, fear and hatred around us with compassionate and effective Vincentian prophetic love. We grieve for a cycle of violence that seems never-ending and for a world that continues to value some lives more than others.

The DePaul community grieves for the dead in Uvalde, in our own city, nation, and throughout the world, and we accompany in prayer and love all those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and the loss of life and security. We confess, as a multifaith and multi-convictional community, our commitment with the dignity and sanctity of life, and we reject all forms of violence and hatred.

Today, at 11:32 a.m. the entire DePaul community is asked to pause in tender love and support for those whose paths have led them to unimaginable pain and sorrow in Texas, as the reality of their tremendous loss becomes real. We pause to remember those who carry the physical and emotional wounds from the horrific shooting of yesterday. We pause to remember those who are walking in paths of sorrow and pain over senseless killings that plague our country, week in and week out.

We acknowledge that many times we fail to lift up the voices of those who experience oppression, discrimination, violence and hatred. As Vincent de Paul did in his time, we see and listen carefully to hear what changes we need to make in our own lives, institutions and society so that we contribute to defeating violence with nonviolence and replacing war, in all its forms, with peace. We give thanks for those faithful witnesses of healing, reconciliation and restoration of our broken societal fabrics. We embrace the challenge to imagine what new hope might look like in a world that is not filled with such violence and fear.

Join our community in solidarity at 11:32 a.m. Know that, as an educational institution, we will continue to work together to a​ffect change.