THE SISTERS OF ST FRANCIS OF PHILADELPHIA JOIN NATIONWIDE VIGILS ON DECEMBER 14, 2016, TO END GUN VIOLENCE
Aston, PA: Gun violence takes a heartbreaking toll on all of our communities. On both east and west coasts, our sisters held public vigils on December 14, the fourth anniversary of the Newtown shooting. In Aston, sisters and friends gathered in the Blessing Room of the motherhouse where four representatives of the Aston Ministerium offered prayers from their respective faith traditions. Sister Jean Ustasiewski, OSF, began the service with a prayer offered in the Franciscan tradition. She was followed by Marion Hamersmesh from the Congregation Beth Israel in Media, Reverend Thomas Haugh from Mount Hope United Methodist Church, and Reverend Graham Robinson with Aston Presbyterian Church—all offering words of faith and hope.
The group then processed outside to the corner of Convent and Red Hill Roads for an outdoor vigil, giving witness to all who passed by of the need for prayer to bring an end to gun violence. Candles were lit and silence filled the chilly night air as the close to 50 people gathered silently remembering those lost lives. Several people drove by offering their support by a honk of the horn. Sisters on the west coast gathered on the grounds of St. Ann Convent for a similar vigil. Copies of a prayer service were available on line for sisters to use in their own convents and parishes.
The Newtown Foundation is a Newtown-based, all volunteer organization formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Learn more at http://newtownaction.org/newtown-foundation/. Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence is a diverse coalition of more than 50 denominations and faith-based organizations united by the call of our faiths to confront America’s gun violence epidemic and to rally support for policies that reduce death and injury from gunfire. Learn more at http://faithsunited.org.