As the leadership team of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, U.S.-Ontario Province, we respond with heartbroken prayer and outrage to the fatal shooting of eight people in Atlanta, GA on March 16. Once again, communities are left to grapple with grief and shattered peace, while families are left with irreparable losses and aching hearts. This outburst of violence brings echoes of the dehumanizing public statements that have so often targeted people of Asian heritage, especially during the past year. It also reminds us that almost unfettered access to guns in the U.S. continues to cost precious lives.
We unite our voices with those who demand an end to the immoral discrimination and violence against Asian people and other communities of color. A public statement from Ramona Convent Secondary School leaders Sister Kathleen Callaway and Jacqueline Quiñones Sienkowski, JD identifies the terrible toll of this embedded racism in our society: “It’s important to remind ourselves that racism impacts communities in distinct ways, but it impacts all of us profoundly. From anti-Asian violence to the horrific pandemic death toll in Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities, to the white supremacist insurrection at the Capitol, structural racism impacts all of us. Violence, hatred, and racial slurs directed toward any group are unacceptable.”
We applaud the bishops and other faith leaders who have swiftly condemned bigotry and violence towards Asian Americans. Some of the public statements that we welcome and support include:
- Atlanta Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM, Conv.: “We must, as a Christian family of faith, speak up against any aggression and we must be active in our pursuit to end racism and discrimination of every kind.”
- Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich: “It is incumbent on all Christians, all Americans, to resist subtle and overt acts of bigotry, to build up the common good through acts of love for all our neighbors, near and far.”
- Pax Christi: “Charleston. Pittsburgh. Atlanta. Once more we have seen what appears to be the devastating result of racial hatred and our nation’s inability to address gun violence.”
We renew our pledge to continue our efforts to bring about sane corporate policies and legislation to eliminate easy access to deadly weapons that have been used countless times by those motivated by hatred. We are committed to respecting human life and dignity, and to active collaboration with those who seek justice and peace for all people.
Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
U.S.-Ontario Province Leadership Team
Maureen Delaney, SNJM
Diane Enos, SNJM
Marcia Frideger, SNJM
Carol Higgins, SNJM
Linda Patrick, SNJM
Mary Slater, SNJM