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From the community still wounded from a mass shooting just a week ago in Gilroy, we send our prayers and heartfelt concerns to the

people of El Paso and Dayton, and all those affected by the recent shootings that have left 29 people dead and many wounded.  We grieve with the families of the deceased and pray for the recovery of the wounded and injured.

We think of those who harbor hatred and fear in their minds and hearts: we remind them that it is unacceptable to take out their frustrations on the innocent.  All human persons are created in God’s image and likeness and, as the Declaration of Independence affirms, possess inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Moreover, we are reminded that each of us in the human family bears a responsibility for each other: for brother, sister, neighbor.  Thus, it is important that we realize the impact that language and attitudes of racism, discrimination, and hatred can have on others.  We also encourage each other to report to proper authorities any warning signs we notice in others that reveal hatred and a willingness to hurt others or themselves.

Finally, we stand in solidarity with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishop Frank Dewane in their statement on behalf of the US bishops:  “The plague that gun violence has become continues unchecked and spreads across our country.  Things must change. Once again, we call for effective legislation that addresses why these unimaginable and repeated occurrences of murderous gun violence continue to take place in our communities.”

May the God of peace bring comfort to the families of the deceased and healing to the wounded and injured.  May we all heed the words of Jesus, “love one another.”