What is Ours to Do

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

What is ours to do is sometimes a lifelong task, what we came into this world to do, our mission, our personal calling, our vocation.  We are wired to belong, to pay attention to each other. We all want to be part of something greater than ourselves. It is what makes us join clubs or engage in social media. It is part of being human. Actually, more to the point, it is the Divine spark within us that draws us to each other and through which we become more human.  We cannot miss the moment that is ours to do when it is staring us in the face.

We are at an incredibly important moment in this country. The recent murder of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Florida, has enflamed my sense of outrage over what is ours to do as a country. Too many times we end up simply making public statements about thoughts and prayers and calling for action from elected officials.

What really stays with me is the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, where 20 first graders (5 year olds) along with 6 adults were shot to death.  FIRST GRADERS. And we have done nothing to change our national civil discourse on gun control. Children are being slaughtered.. We allowed babies to be murdered and we could not find what was ours to do in that situation. This is as much a pro-life issue as abortion

What is ours to do now? Can we change the discussion on gun control to something more meaningful, more fruitful? It is ours to do to protect our children from harm and to respect the Second Amendment right to bear arms. These do not have to be conflicting values.

Gun owners themselves, although they have a right to own guns, need to join the effort to protect society, especially our children, from gun violence. Can they reach across this chasm?  Those who work for  gun control need to reach across the chasm as well, to find a common solution to the death of children. Can they have civil conversations with gun owners? Will it lead to anything?

We, the Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, are working to encourage all of our schools, and Dominican schools across the country to participate actively in the planned marches that call for walk out and a call for Congress and our society to do some meaningful to work together to control guns.

In the US, we will advocate for common sense gun control laws such as requiring universal background checks before purchasing arms; banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines; promoting strategies to prevent gun violence; and providing adequate financial resources to establish mental health programs for victims and perpetrators and prevention programs for at risk people.”

 No matter what your position is on owning guns, we need to find a way to keep people who should not have them from killing our children.

This is ours to do.

Posted in News, Weekly Word

20 responses to “What is Ours to Do

  1. Thank you, Sr. Anne, for your position concerning gun control in our country. A good action step would be to sponsor a couple of students from each of our schools to go to the March on Washington. The young people definitely need to be involved in this cause since so many have been victims of this tragedy.

  2. I am grateful to be part of the concerted effort here. The plan offered in the Daily News on Thursday holds for me a promise of effectiveness. More than “thoughts and prayers”. Thanks for organizing this effort.

  3. Anne,
    Thank you for your wonderful response to such a great cause! As I sat across the table from my seven year old grandniece today I could not help but hope and pray that she and her classmates never have to experience the horrors of Florida and Sandy Hook, etc., etc., etc.

  4. Thanks, Anne. Thanks for sharing your “anger”. I haven’t seen so much determination from young people for a long time…until I listened to the youth in Florida! I hope that they and we stay with this issue until something really significant happens!

  5. Yes, let us do something that will move legislation that our representatives will not do. Where possible, encourage our students to raise awareness of the need to change our gun laws and get involved. Talk to our relatives and others who support the NRA about what they and this organization stand for, and if they really do want to support it.

  6. Thank you, Anne. It’s absolutely essential that we do something to keep our children safe. No child or parent should be afraid to attend any school in America. Let’s call our Senators and Representatives and if they don’t take care of this issue, vote them out of office.

  7. Your call for Common Sense Gun Control Laws echoes the Corporate Stand on Gun Control that the Congregation took a couple of years ago. I believe that part of our problem is that the NRA has a stranglehold on Congress. I too am outraged about all the killings, and was dismayed to hear that there were 2 gun shows going on close to the assassination site in Broward County, FL. Let’s keep those Divine sparks sparkling!

  8. Anne,
    I totally agree with you. But we are working against a very powerful Gun Lobby.Money talks.
    How are we going to enforce a law that
    doesn’t matter to individuals when they can make
    also? How are we going to reach the hearts of
    every gun lobbiest as well as every Individual who only thinks of their need for by selling guns.

  9. Amen Anne! Thank God the youth are uniting together and doing something. What a statement they are making! I don’t think they will stop protesting until they are heard.

  10. Hooray, Anne. I couldn’t agree more. I am now working on a Letter to the Editor for our daily paper, The Akron Beacon Journal. I have in the past called and will call again our senators and representative in Congress about this issue.

  11. Thank you, Anne. Very well put and explained how and what we can do and be during this dreadful time of continued school shootings. This is a pro-life issue, indeed.

  12. Amen …. perhaps we could sponsor a couple of students from each of our schools to go to the March on Washington.


  13. Encouraging a walkout is a political move.
    That move that did not take place when the first graders at Sandy Hook were killed.
    Why now and not then?

    1. Perhaps because, wisely or unwisely, we expected our government officials to respond by enacting measures to keep our children safe. Instead, they responded by taking more money from the NRA. The NRA spent $54 million dollars furthering their agenda in 2016 – most of that donated by gun owners. It’s time that we hold up the faces of those lost – the teens of today and the little babies from Sandy Hook – not just to the NRA, but to the man and woman on the street who support them – and ask, Are your guns worth one life?

  14. Thank you, Sr. Anne, for expressing so well our position on this on this important issue of gun control in our country.
    Meaningful action is surely needed at this time!!

    Adele Sheffieck,OPA

  15. Thank you Anne. I do believe our youth will compel us to finally act. Waking each morning to news of another shoooting, not always fatal, is unsettling. Supporting survivors painful. And yes, this is an important right to life issue. We can do better.

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