A message from Catholic Charities President and CEO Cynthia N. Colbert, MSW:
Like you, I was sad and stunned to learn about two mass shootings within hours of each other this weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. This follows the terrible shooting in Gilroy, CA a short time before.
It is terrible to know that many people were killed and dozens were wounded in these three attacks. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people in El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy who are struggling to understand and cope with these terrible tragedies.
While we cannot fully understand what motivates someone to plan and carry out such violent acts, we can know this: the perpetrators were motivated by anger and hatred. In El Paso, the shooter used social media and websites for anti-immigrant ranting that exposed darkness of the soul.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
As people of faith helping people in need, Catholic Charities is an agent of light. We lift up and support all people who turn to us for assistance, including immigrants and those who seek refuge from a country that has historically been welcoming to the stranger and to the disenfranchised.
I encourage everyone to hold on to whatever serves as a foundation for faith. In the face of unfathomable darkness, hold fast to the sources of light that give you comfort. Because we are guided by the Catholic faith, we turn to scripture for comfort:
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
My prayer is that, although brokenhearted by cascading reports of violence, we can continue to look for the light in our fellow human beings, advocate for justice and carry out compassionate acts of kindness.
In the peace of Christ,
Cynthia N. Colbert, MSW
President and CEO
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston