Archbishop Sartain and myself have released the following statement and prayer in response to the recent mass-shootings in our nation:

News of the tragic shootings in California, Mississippi, Texas and Ohio has once again struck our nation to its core, as loved ones of all ages are suddenly and senselessly ripped from their families. Many others suffer life-threatening injuries, and still countless more are afraid and anxious.

The violence must stop.

As disciples of Jesus, we live by the way of peace and reject all forms of violence, hate and racism. This terrible spike in senseless acts of terror brings us to our knees, as we pray for victims and their families, for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, and for those prone for whatever reason to violent acts. May God bring peace and consolation to them all and teach us to be instruments of healing and reconciliation – not just at the present moment, but every day.

We need to find a way to enact common-sense gun regulation and seek more effective means of assisting those with mental illness. May we ourselves, with God’s grace, be people who sew and cultivate a culture of peace, goodness and kindness every day – in both word and deed. The road to peace begins with a fervent commitment on the part of each of us to respect all human life and let the Lord’s gift of peace reign over us.

O God, who have revealed that peacemakers are called your children, show us now the power of your goodness and healing as we weep for those suddenly and violently taken from us and for those who have been injured in any way. O God, merciful and strong, swiftly banish violence from our nation, wipe away all tears, and help us establish the kind of justice that ensures true and lasting peace, that we may live as your children, as brothers and sisters of one family. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.