Thoughts after Southerland Springs 1st Baptist Shooting.

Thoughts after Southerland Springs 1st Baptist Shooting.

I didn’t want to respond to the violence in Southerland Springs right away.  I was mad and frustrated.  How could this be and so close.  This will be a summary of my homily and for those upset that I am not jumping on the gun control wagon, please look at purpose of what I am trying to do.

Is it the guns?

My opinion is that guns are not the issue.   The closest I have come to being hurt in an attach was in Germany, with very strict gun control.  There they used a propane tank.  Oklahoma City was a truck.  9/11 were planes.  Chicago, DC and Mexico have amazingly strict laws, yet shockingly high levels of violent crime.  I think it is us…

Are we silly virgins from Gospel parable?

Multiple times in the last year I have had to deal with threats from middle school kids to kill someone.  This is in a Catholic school.   Yes, we take it more seriously now, but these were kids with a plan.  I have watched young kids in less than 10 seconds wipe out a small village in a first person shooter game.  That has to have an impact.

I remember the first time I was in the ER as a Chaplain and a chest was opened and the smell and the sound almost made me toss my lunch.   After time, I became accustom to it.  Are we “virtually” becoming desensitized to violence through movies and games?  Or by texting and not talking, especially while in same room.

What about the mental health angle.  I have tried to get people help.  I have friends that have family members, but their personal rights seem to get in the way of getting them help.  Everyone is too afraid to do what needs to be done because they might get sued.  How is that being our brother’s/sister’s keeper?

How do we help overworked and under prepared parents?

I don’t have answers, yet.   But I am working at finding them.  I am hoping this blog starts a discussion.  I will not approve any comments stuck on guns.  That is not the point here.  That is a whole other issue.

How to we regain a sense of godliness or holiness for each other?  How do we engender that in our youth?

Some of my ideas:
  1.  If you die in a first person shooter game, you are dead, you have to buy the game again.
  2. Make all violent movies and games NC-17.  Let the person form before subjecting themselves to these “games.”
  3. If we are going to really fix health care, we need to fix our mental health system.  How?
  4. We can’t ban texting, but can we force more interpersonal relationships.  We are shifting to more project based education to help facilitate this.

Please take a moment of prayer for all those affected by violence before responding.  

Archbishop Gustavo’s Statement on shootings in Southerland Springs today.

Archbishop Gustavo’s Statement on shootings in Southerland Springs today.

Statement of Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, of San Antonio on shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs

 

We need prayers! The families affected in the shooting this morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs need prayers. The evil perpetrated on these who were gathered to worship God on the Lord’s Day — especially children and the elderly — makes no sense and will never be fully understood.

Disbelief and shock are the overwhelming feelings; there are no adequate words. There can be no explanation or motive for such a scene of horror at a small country church for families gathered to praise Jesus Christ.

At this time, there are reports that more than 25 were killed and more than 20 have been wounded while gathered for Sunday morning worship in their small sanctuary. Those injured are currently being treated at hospitals in San Antonio and Floresville.

These Baptist brethren are our family, friends and neighbors who live among us in the archdiocese; just minutes away from our Wilson County parishes of Sacred Heart in Floresville, St. Ann in La Vernia, and St. Mary in Stockdale. We are committed to work in unity with all our brothers and sisters to build peace in our communities; to connect in a more direct and substantial way. The Catholic Church in Texas and across the United States is with you.

Catholic Charities of the archdiocese stands ready to assist and provide whatever services may be needed in this time of tragedy and will do whatever needs to be done.

Let’s help these brothers and sisters with prayers; they need us. Also, pray fervently for peace amidst all of the violence which seems to be overwhelming our society. We must be lights in the darkness.

“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”

May God have mercy!