"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

“Be diligent in serving
the poor. Love the poor,
honor them, my children,
as you would honor
Christ Himself.”

St. Louise de Marillac

 

Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Sponsor Billboard to End Gun Violence

April 3, 2024

The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are called by our Catholic faith to promote a culture that values life, peace and the inherent dignity of all. In a united effort to create communities where all people and children are safe from violence, the congregation is joining with a number of regional Catholic religious congregations to sponsor a billboard message to end gun violence and promote peace. The message will appear April 8 to May 5, 2024, near the Harrison Avenue Exit along Interstate 75 and read: “Put the Guns Down! Nobody is Winning. Let Peace Begin with Me.”

The campaign comes at a time when our country is plagued with an epidemic of gun violence. According to Everytown Research and Policy, the toll gun violence takes on our communities is staggering with 120 firearm deaths and 200 more wounded per day (Feb. 13, 2023). Moreover, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence states that the leading cause of death of children and teens in the United States is now firearms (Jan. 11, 2024). Inaction in the face of this epidemic is unacceptable. We must take decisive action to prevent these deaths from occurring.

Sister Marcel DeJonckheere, SC, explains what compelled her to bring this action to the Sisters of Charity Leadership Council. “Gun violence is a frequent item in our news reports. There is little for us to do to bring attention to the need for change. That is what prompted the idea for the billboard. Our hope is that we all find ways to be peacemakers. Owning a gun doesn’t give power; it gives responsibility.”

Sister Barbara Hagedorn, SC, councilor, adds, “The Leadership Team of the Sisters of Charity as well as many others have been feeling so helpless about the gun violence and senseless killing that is overtaking our cities. Many of our young people are dying in the prime of life. When the idea of the billboard was proposed, it gave us a concrete way to respond and gave us our call to action. When the idea was mentioned to the other women’s communities in the area, we received great support. The billboard’s message is a collaborative plea for nonviolence and peace. We pray that the message has a positive effect on those who see it.”

The billboard is one step in the congregation’s effort to bring awareness to the gun violence epidemic. Together we can confront the culture of violence with love. The Sisters of Charity encourage others to join them in action by visiting the Sisters of Charity Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation News/Action Alerts page at www.srcharitycinti.org/ministries/scj-ministries/jpic/jpic-news/ to find sample letters to the editor, to legislators and templates to act in support of this campaign. We must prevent more tragedies from occurring and create a world where gun violence is no longer the norm.

 

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