Painful Reminders

Visitors to Nativity of Our Savior, my home parish in Portage, Ind., were greeted with an unusual sight last weekend. The steps to the altar were lined with white crosses, similar to what you’d find in military graveyards.

Closer inspection showed each of the crosses bore the name of a city that had been the victim of mass shootings. Two additional crosses were there for nearby Gary and Chicago, which has avoided mass shootings but suffer gun-related homicides with all-too-much frequency.

It was a powerful image, and a sobering reminder of the pain that’s inflicted on communities almost daily, whether that’s in a single-shooter event, or those lives lost just one at a time.

I don’t know the answer to the scourge of gun violence. Nor do I imagine that Father Kevin McCarthy does either. But it is a subject that demands our attention, and hopefully that vigilant attention and concern can help in the pursuit of a solution.

The steps to the altar at Nativity of Our Savior Parish in Portage.

A cross identifying the 11 killed at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018, one of several mass shootings to occur in places of worship.

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