Marist High School student leaders planned and invited the student body to attend a prayer service in the school's main gym at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14 to honor the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting one month ago in Parkland, Fla. While schools around the country participated in National Walkout Day, the Marist community chose to respond to the issue of gun violence and the deaths of so many young people in prayer.
Juniors and seniors planned the event and were the only ones to speak during the hour-long ceremony. An opening prayer called on everyone to pray for peace in our neighborhoods and nation. Then, students read a short biography about each victim as a photo of them was held. Each speaker closed with the petition that God welcome each victim into His most holy kingdom. A candle was lit in honor of them.
In closing, the students were reminded that the shooting in Parkland was not the only school shooting; that many schools and communities have been affected by gun violence. Students were challenged to commit themselves to acts of kindness that can help build community and help those who might be silently suffering from any number of challenges in life.
During lunch mods, letters to Senators Duckworth and Durbin were available for students to sign if they wanted. The letters called for gun legislation as outlined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.