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Bishop Walkowiak's statement regarding the violence in Orlando

June 13, 2016
Bishop David J. Walkowiak has issued the following statement in response to the deadly mass shooting in Orlando which occurred Sunday morning.
"The hearts and prayers of Catholics in West Michigan are with the people of Orlando this morning after the indescribable tragedy that occurred early Sunday.
We stand united with the victims, their families, and first responders who have been deeply affected by this senseless act of violence. We pray for the victims and their families that they will know the comfort, love and healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ. We also pray for those wounded in the shooting that they may be healed in mind, body, and soul.
We join with Pope Francis in condemning this act of hatred and continue to seek ways to ensure the protection of the life and dignity of every person. In the words of St. Francis, 'Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.'"

Additional resources

Web-based resources to assist in conversations involving parents and young people:
• Saint Mary’s Press:
• LifeTeen Session on “Dealing with Tragedy”
The following websites may be helpful for parents in talking about violence, and especially violence portrayed in media:
• Talking with Kids about News
• National Association of School Psychologists: Helping Children Cope with Terrorism
Our Sunday Visitor hosted a free webinar, “When Disaster Strikes: Helping Children Cope with Tragedies, Disaster and Acts of Terror” tomorrow, June 16 at 2 p.m. EST. To watch video of the webinar, click here.
The USCCB wrote a pastoral letter in 1994, “Confronting a Culture of Violence: A Catholic Framework for Action” which still provides the Christian approach to responding to violence. Read full text here
Looking to the Prince of Peace
“Because we have been gifted with God's peace in the risen Christ, we are called to our own peace and to the making of peace in our world. As disciples and as children of God it is our task to seek for ways in which to make the forgiveness, justice and mercy, and love of God visible in a world where violence and enmity are too often the norm” (from St. Anthony Messenger Press). We need to help parents and children, youth and young adults ask themselves how they can be agents of the Prince of Peace today -- on their own school campus, in their homes, in the workplace, in our community. In the face of random acts of violence, we are intentional signs and acts of peace.