From Bishop McGrath on the occasion of the
17-Minute Walkout to Commemorate the Killings In Parkland, FL.
Archbishop Mitty High School
March 14, 2018
I must begin my brief words by thanking you for this observance and for inviting me to be part of it.
There is absolutely no place I would rather be than to stand here in solidarity with you as you stand in solidarity with young people across our nation, and perhaps around the world.
The tragedy at Parkland is not even the latest of far too many shooting tragedies, for last Friday, we lost one of San Jose’s own, Saint Francis High School graduate, Dr. Jennifer Gonzales, and her unborn child, who were among the four gunned down in Yountville.
But today, your voices are being heard as never before. Your calls for sanity reverberate throughout the halls of power. Today, your outrage is shared by others, and you are our teachers.
Prayer, of course is good.
Likewise, Education is good.
And Solidarity, too, is good.
But we need to act.
To demand change.
To protect the lives of innocents.
Contrary to some, the answer is not more guns, not arming teachers with Oozies or AK-47s.
My generation and your parents’ and grandparents’ has failed. You may be the last chance for real change. You have something to say, and you must.
Some of you will vote in June and November. The rest of you must do the same when your time comes. Politicians live and die by elections. You can be the change that guarantees a chance for life for many.
Swords, guns and all weapons need to be turned into proverbial plowshares. But before this can happen,
Hearts must first be converted…
To peace, to justice, to care for one another,
Each and all as sisters and brothers,
Dedicated to the common good,
Sharing the common humanity,
Even if not a common faith.
And let us heed the words of the prophet Isaiah who foretold that when peace comes, it will be a child who leads all the rest of us.
May God bless you for what you do today and for all that you will do in the tomorrows yet to come.