Statement by Bishop A. Robert Hirschfeld, February 16, 2018

 

On the evening of Shrove Tuesday I had the pleasure of meeting with the Vestry of St. James’, Keene.  Afterwards we shared desserts as a way of celebrating “Mardi Gras” in advance of our Lenten fast.

During that time of fellowship, I had a chance to speak with Dr. Rudy Fedrizzi, Director of Community Health Clinical Integration at Cheshire Medical Center.  Rudy has been doing amazing work to promote health and wellness in Cheshire County through Healthy Monadnock Champions.

Rudy showed me a pamphlet that advertised a new initiative for gun safety that represents a partnership among St. James’ Social Justice Ministry, the Police Chiefs and departments of 15 area towns and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an organization that has long supported gun rights and happens to be located in Newtown, Connecticut.  This unusual, even unlikely partnership, promotes gun safety by making safety kits and gunlocks available at police stations, “no questions asked.”

I was impressed and amazed to see the list of these partners working for the safety of children.  A collaboration between a gun rights group and St. James’ Church, the home of the martyred Jonathan Daniels, for the sake of children represents a thin but important thread cast across one of the great chasms in our society.

And then Ash Wednesday in Parkland, Florida.  We saw the searing image of a mother holding another mother as they waited to learn if their children had escaped the carnage of yet another mass school shooting in America.  On the mother’s forehead was the distinct cross of ashes where she was earlier told, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”  On Thursday, I was told that members of Canon Kevin Nichols family knew those killed as classmates and teachers.

I join with the survivors of this mass shooting for a call to courageous action and resolve for change in our hearts and in the laws of our nation, blood soaked by these acts of massacres.  A statement from my sister and brother Bishops Against Gun Violence is attached.

May Christ, the Prince of Peace, give us courage to meet the challenges of this present age.

+Rob

Here is a link to the statement by the Bishops Against Gun Violence:  HERE