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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


- mittens on a string

I am deliberately avoiding watching the news on television, listening to the news on the radio, or reading the news in the newspaper.

I know enough of the facts:  On Friday, a mentally ill young man killed over two dozen people, including little children, in an elementary school in Connecticut.

There are so many questions.

How could this have happened?  How could it have been prevented?  And inevitably, who is to blame?

Proponents of gun control blame the fact that huge numbers of guns that are readily available, with little difficulty. to the public.  People who are in favor of upholding 2nd Amendment rights argue that madmen would find ways to kill regardless of more stringent gun laws.

I have my own opinions, but would rather not get drawn into the debate in this forum, and I respectfully ask that your comments reflect this.

What really matters in the end is that, because of what happened on Friday, there are empty little pajamas at the end of empty little beds.  Little jackets are hanging on hooks with mittens hanging off the cuffs, and little boots are lined up next to back doors, waiting for snow ball fights and snow man building adventures that won't happen.  Presents are wrapped and under trees for children who won't be there to open them on Christmas.  And parents and grandparents with empty arms are mourning.

Families are shattered by grief, friends are unable to find a way to help or explain, and strangers who have never heard of this town in Connecticut before Friday dissolve in tears because of this tragedy, and at the thought of something similar happening in their own town, in their own school, to their own children.

And through my tears, all I can do is pray.

Protect us all from the violence of others,
keep us safe from the weapons of hate
and restore to us tranquility and peace.

We ask this through Christ our Lord

                                                                                                                           Book of Blessings


  1. It is simply heartbreaking. Your prayer is lovely and I will also recite it half-way across the world tonight.

  2. http://ramblingfollower.blogspot.com/2012/12/amid-lock-downs-christ-is-coming.html

    I hope you don't mind if I share my post here, Paula. My aunt and uncle lived for about 10 years in Newtown and it is hard to imagine this "picture-perfect" town so shattered. Lord have mercy on us all.

  3. Paula - I was just going to share add this prayer to your prayer (when Charles called)

    Prayer of St. Francis.

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;

    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    and where there is sadness, joy.

    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
    to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood as to understand;
    to be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive;
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life

    1. Charles used the Prayer of St. Francis at the end of his homily today.

  4. Amen to the prayers and reflections. I can't even imagine the grief that the families are experiencing right now.

  5. I did the same thing Paula...I didn't watch the news. Today at school in their memory we practiced our lockdown procedure in class.
    Chris :o)

  6. Paula
    thank you for the prayers. I have recited them along with myownas well.

  7. My heart is breaking for the families and friends of those precious children and their teachers.


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