March for Our Lives and the Call to Change

Many FAN members and friends attended March for Our Lives Rallies all over the country on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

This post is by FAN friend, Jim Clifford from St. James Community of Faith in Stratford, CT.

My wife Debbie and I drove from Connecticut to attend the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24th with our friends, Pat and Stella Carolan of the Franciscan Action Network. What an experience, joining hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, motivated by a desire to bring about reasonable gun safety reforms. We started with a mass at St. Patrick Church, celebrated by Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, attended by hundreds of people, armed with signs, smiles and optimism. Fr. Jacek spoke of the inter-connectedness at the core of Franciscan theology, a message that is sorely needed today as our society becomes more fragmented and polarized. After mass we paused in front of St. Patrick’s as marchers from other faith communities began to walk down the street. DC.StPatricks.MArchForOurLives

We immersed ourselves in the marchers and flowed down to Pennsylvania Avenue, like a stream joining a massive river of humanity. We took pictures, admired handmade signs and spoke to fellow marchers to see where they were from and to hear their stories. Debbie remarked to me that this is “one of the coolest thing I have ever done” and the speakers had not even taken the stage yet.

The speakers, ranging from ages 11 to 21, were very moving, articulate and most of all, they were passionate. They spoke of the unimaginable violence they witnessed and the trauma that still plagued them. Those of us who have not experienced a shooting may fail to realize that for each physical casualty, there are hundreds of people who have been scarred for life emotionally. Yet, through all the pain, anger and sadness, one quality shined through as clear as day – and that was Hope. Hope that our elected officials will heed these demands for common sense regulations or face the consequences on election day. Hope in a return to governing based on consensus, respect for the common good and human dignity. Hope that the new “silent majority” who dearly love our country and love one another, will end their silence and take action.

DC.MarchForOurLivesWhether or not the politicians get the message is unclear, but what is clear to me is that there is a movement arising, fueled by the energy and passion of young people. And for those of us who are not so young, there is a need for us to embrace their passion, to accept their challenge, and join them in this dynamic force for change.

Jim Clifford

Published in: on March 30, 2018 at 1:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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