Response to Gun Violence

The Dominican Sisters of Peace have prepared a resource packet: Suggested Guidelines on Response to Gun Violence for any school, motherhouse or ministry who would like to participate in public prayer in solidarity with the students and staff that were killed in Parkland, FL. We have created this for our schools and other ministries and encourage anyone who wishes to adapt any part of these guidelines for their own purposes. We hope that every Dominican school in the US will hold something and these resources might be useful.”

What sisters are doing to show their support:

  • The Dominican Sisters of Springfield attended a downtown rally at the Old State Capitol on Sunday, February 25. There were about 6 to 8 sisters in attendance. -Elyse Marie Ramirez, OP

  • As many are aware, today is the National School Walkout, planned for 10am this morning. Student activists who have planned this day are asking participants to walkout for 17 minutes to honor those 17 students and teachers who were killed last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Participants are demanding a ban on assault weapons, requiring universal background checks before gun sales, and that the passage of a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior.

    The educational institutions sponsored by the Sinsinawa Dominicans are participating in this walkout in various ways, including gathering students for prayer vigils and assemblies.

    I invite you to pause at 10am today to join in solidarity with students across the nation as we pray and work toward and end to gun violence in our schools and nation.”

    -Rita E. Cutarelli, M.Div., Ed.D.
    Director of Sponsorship
    Sinsinawa Dominicans

  • “In solidarity with students across the country, we will gather in the bell courtyard and ring our bell here 17 times at 10:00 am to remember those who died in Parkland, Florida. We will read the name and age of each of the 17 people who died in the Parkland school shooting. After each name, we will toll our bell once. The bell was cast in 1889 and has been a call to prayer on this site in San Rafael ever since. Wherever you are, please join your prayers with ours here in San Rafael.” 

  • “In Sparkill, we are having a prayer service this afternoon in solidarity with today’s National Student Walkout. The names of the 17 victims in the recent Florida school shooting will be read out loud. We do also know that our 2 sponsored high schools, Albertus Magnus HS and Aquinas HS, both in NY, will be participating in the walkout today and tomorrow, respectively.”

  • On March 14, 2018, “54 people, including 8 Dominican Justice Promoters, [were] gathered here Tucson, Arizona for LCWR’s Imagining Justice ‘Unleashing the Energies of Love’ conference. At 10 am they formed a circle and sat in contemplative prayer to be in solidarity with the students who were walking out.”

  • Please click here for the details about the National Student Walkout yesterday at Mount St. Dominic Academy.

  • “We’re wondering if any sisters will be participating in the March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24, or any of the other rallies planned across the country for that day. We would also like to hear about any other actions sisters or communities of sisters are taking in the effort to reduce gun violence. Sisters have long been the conscience of the nation, and we would love to share the news of what they’re doing on this issue, as well. As always, I can be reached at or at 260-418-7079.”

    -Arlene Flaherty OP
    Director, AMSSND JPIC Department

  • “I am organizing some of our sisters to attend the March for Our Lives Rally in San Francisco from 1 to 4 pm on Sat., March 24th.”

    -Mary Kieffer, OP (San Rafael)

  • Dominican Young Adults, Dominican Volunteers, as well as some sisters are planning on attending the walk in Blauvelt on March 24.

  • Two schools that were founded by the Dominican Sisters of Houston, St. Agnes Academy and St. Pius X High School, will be participating in a local rally on March 24.

  • Dominican Sisters and Associates of Amityville, Blauvelt, Caldwell, Hope, Maryknoll, and Sparkill will be marching in Washington, D.C., Westchester County, Rockland County, New Jersey, and Long Island.

    The OPSCC is also organizing prayer services for those who support gun control. If you would like to organize a gathering for prayer, please go to

    A postcard campaign for gun control reform is underway! The postcard outlines what we hold as essential to gun control reform. The postcards can be sent on your behalf by signing up on the OPSCC website, Once you have completed the form, postcards will be sent to the President, your U.S. Senators, and your House Representative.

    A prayer service is available on the OPSCC website,, please feel free to share it with others.

    – Didi Madden
    OPSCC Justice Promoter

  • Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Erica Jordan, OP, has modified a prayer service originally created by Father James Martin, SJ, calling for an end to gun violence. Erica would like to offer the prayer service to all in the Dominican Sisters Conference to use this Saturday, March 24, as millions will join in the March for Our Lives: Stand with Our Kids Against Violence movement across the United States this weekend. The prayer service follows.

    March for Our Lives: Stand with Our Kids Against Violence 
    Prayer Service 
    March 24, 2018

    PRAYER LEADER: We gather today in solidarity with all the young people and their adult supporters who march in Washington, DC, to demand an end to gun violence in our nation. We also gather in spirit with the thousands of people marching in many other cities and towns to lend voices, petitions, and prayers in support of the courageous youth seeking to urge elected officials to provide for the safety and peace of all.

    We begin our prayer with a reading from the prophet Isaiah.

    READER ONE: Isaiah 2:1-22

    It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the God shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that God may teach us God’s ways and that we may walk in God’s paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. God shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

    SHORT VIDEO: Demand a Plan

    PAUSE for reflection.

    READER TWO: God, we come to you, once again, after another shooting. We ask you to receive into your loving care those who were killed, to care for those who were wounded or hurt in any way, to embrace in your loving care the young people who experienced the horror of these attacks, to console the family members and friends of those who died or were wounded, to strengthen the rescue workers, medical professionals, and caregivers.

    We pray, too, for the shooter, as we must as Christians.

    ALL:  God of mercy, hear our prayer.

    READER THREE: God, we are tired of the unwillingness to see this as an important issue.

    We are tired of those in power who work to prevent any real change.

    We are tired of those who say that gun violence can’t be reduced.

    We know that the tiredness we feel is the same tiredness that Jesus felt after his own struggles against injustice did not have the outcome he hoped for.

    ALL: God of unbounded energy, hear our prayer.

    READER FOUR: We are angry, God, at the seeming powerlessness of our community to prevent this.

    We are angry at the selfish financial interests that block change.

    We are angry that these shootings happen at all.

    ALL: God of righteous anger, hear our prayer.

    READER FIVE: God, please help us see that these feelings we have are the way that you move us to act.

    Help us see in these emotions your own desire for change.

    Help us see in these reactions your pushing us to do something.

    We know that you desire action.

    For Jesus did not stand by while people were being hurt.

    He plunged into their lives.

    ALL: God of creative energy, hear our prayer. 

    PRAYER LEADER: If there are other petitions, please speak them aloud now or in the quiet of your heart.

    ALL: God of unconditional love, hear our prayer.

    READER SIX: And so, loving God, we ask your help in answering these questions:

    How can we help?

    How can we fight against gun violence?

    How can we urge our political leaders to enact change?

    How can we help people understand that this is an issue about life?

    We are tired of excuses for the loss of life and angry that we are paralyzed by the loss of life. Turn our sadness into compassion. Turn our tiredness into advocacy.

    Turn our paralysis into the freedom to act.

    Help us to be compassionate, to advocate, and to act, as your son did, merciful God.


    The prayer is an adaptation of A Prayer to End Gun Violence by James Martin, SJ.