The country has been shaken by the Covid 19 virus striking over 100,000 people - our neighbors, brothers and sisters, our elderly and people of color. As we dealt with the grief and disruption of life due to the pandemic, last week we were reminded of the racism that also infects our Nation as we witnessed the murder of George Floyd. Pope John Paul II called racism “the most persistent and destructive evil of the nation. And it is still alive and killing more of God’s beloved children.
At the Franciscan Spiritual Center, we chose this year to focus on a Year of Peace and Non-Violence. We had no idea that we would be so challenged to live this out. As followers of the peace troubadour, St Francis of Assisi, and trying to live out our commitment to gospel nonviolence, we have offered programs and prayers and ways to be instruments of peace. While our programs at the Center have temporarily ended due to the pandemic, we continue to encourage one another to be people of justice and peace.
We invite you to join us in National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 5, followed by Wear Orange Weekend, June 6–7. During Wear Orange Weekend thousands of Americans across the country, including the Franciscan Spiritual Center in Milwaukie, Oregon, will recognize individuals and communities impacted by gun violence. (We have new orange T-Shirts if you would like to purchase one)
Like St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, we pray for the grace to disarm from instruments of violence and become instruments of God’s peace.