Aston-PA – The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia take great joy in announcing that the congregation, as a result of a recent referendum, have declared a corporate stand against gun violence. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, conscious of the growing use of assault and other weapons in our society, take this corporate stand on behalf of gun safety reform, thereby committing to educate ourselves and others toward a safer culture of life.
The debate over gun safety reform in the United States has waxed and waned over the years stirred by a series of mass shootings in civilian settings. In particular, the killing of 20 school children in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 prompted a new national discussion about gun laws. However, legislation that would have banned semiautomatic assault weapons was defeated in the Senate despite extensive public support. It must be said that allegiance to the National Rifle Association (NRA) played and continues to play a role in the failure to pass legislation.
The statistics of death and injury by gun violence in the U.S. are breathtaking! They challenge the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and their companions to do what we can to bring to light the enormity and the costs of human life because of the lack of adequate gun safety reform. Furthermore, our documents, our values, and the Gospel call us to educate ourselves and to put that knowledge into action on behalf of our brothers and sisters. This is our call; this is our challenge. “It is so important to challenge ourselves and others to move out of our own comfort zones and speak the truth to power—whether it be with politicians, faith leaders, or even our own family and friends,” said Sr. Kate O’Donnell, coordinator of the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee. “We strive to be women and men of peace by our work toward fair and adequate legislation on gun safety reform.”
We plan to take action on this stand by advocating for extensive and up-to-date background checks on people purchasing guns; by participating in actions both locally and nationally that challenge the present gun laws, by voting to elect those who support gun safety reform; by volunteering with organizations who support gun safety reform; by reading and by signing letters, e-mails, and making phone calls to senators and representatives; by including gun safety reform in our daily prayers; and by avoiding shopping in stores that sell guns. Join us in our fight for a safer, more peaceful world.
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia is a community of approximately 400 Catholic women religious who choose a Gospel way of life lived in community and uphold a long and honored tradition of loving God and being in relationships through loving service. We choose to live the Gospel in the prophetic spirit of Francis of Assisi and our foundress Mother Francis Bachmann. With Jesus Christ as Brother, we live as sister with one another, with the entire human family, and with all creation. Calling ourselves and one another to continuous conversion of heart, we commit ourselves to a life of contemplation, poverty, and humility. Seeking to participate in the Spirit’s action in the world, we direct our personal and corporate resources to the promotion of justice, peace, and reconciliation. www.osfphila.org