Sisters Mourn Victims of Orlando Massacre

Orlando Slider Green

The Sisters are heartbroken by the attack in Orlando. This tragedy has affected so many, including the Sisters’ communities near Orlando.

Sr. Ann Kendrick, SND, wrote a letter to all the Sisters acknowledging their concern and support in the aftermath of the massacre. She shared that a Notre Dame Mission Volunteer was able to escape, and that a young man they have known since birth was killed. Hundreds of people attended his funeral.

“Now is the time for simply grief and accompaniment,” she wrote, “but there needs to be a time for true honest reflection and action on the deep cause of these increasing acts of massive gun violence in our culture, in our country. and now the hateful targeting of gay and Latino people. Our political rhetoric and culture only feeds and fuels the fear and hatred.”

Reflecting on visit that a group of high school students is making as a summer service learning experience, she speaks of the power of coming to know people different than ourselves, saying, “Somehow this simple process of connection across ethnic, racial and social class lines IS an antidote to the hatred and fear driving our culture today. We are blessed to have the opportunity to do this important work.”

The statement above, “We honor the dignity and sacredness of each person,” is one of the seven Hallmarks of a Notre Dame Learning Community, and a core value for the Sisters. Also relevant are the Hallmarks, “We embrace the gift of diversity,” and “We create community among those with whom we work and with those we serve.”

May we all learn to fully live these values, seeking always to find our common humanity with others.

Read the full text of Sr. Ann Kendrick’s Letter to the Sisters:

Thanks so very much for the words of concern and support in the aftermath of the massacre in Orlando, Florida where 49 people died and 53 hospitalized as a result of the attack at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, a favorite gay club and on Latin Night. This is home to the Apopka Community of Teresa McElwee, Gail Grimes and Ann Kendrick  and the Winter Park Community of Pat O’Malley and VIrginia West. We know people who were there and who were killed.

One of our Notre Dame Mission Volunteers was able to safely get out of the building with only a few scrapes and scratches on his body but his spirit, his soul….  A young 30 year old Mexican man, husband and father of three young children, whom we have known since birth, was killed. His name is Miguel Angel Honorato. We accompany the family in this horrible experience. Now is the time for simply grief and accompaniment, but there needs to be a time for true honest reflection and action on the deep cause of these increasing acts of massive gun violence in our culture, in our country. and now the hateful targeting of gay and latino people. Our political rhetoric and culture only feeds and fuels the fear and hatred.

A community is forever changed by such a massive act of gun violence and we are struggling with how to respond, how to be in this new world we are living in.

And so we carry on with our everyday work. As all this was happening, a group of high school students from Gonzaga in Washington, DC arrived.  They came for their summer Service Learning Experience in Apopka, living with undocumented immigrant families, working in the fields, and telling and listening to stories of self. Getting to know people personally while learning about racism and oppression while people work for social change is the core of this service experience.  Somehow this simple process of connection across ethnic, racial and social class lines IS an antidote to the hatred and fear driving our culture today.

We are blessed to have the opportunity to do this important work.

Comments

  1. My deepest condolences go out to your community in the face of this horrible violence. Thank you for persevering in the important work of helping people connect across races, ethnicity and classes. There is not enough of this important work being done these days in our country. May God continue to bless you alll.

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