No Healing Through Violence—The Years since 9/11

–From the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).  The LCWR is an association of the leaders of approximately 330 congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The Conference has about 1,500 members, who represent 90 percent of the 55,000 Catholic Sisters in the United States.  Sister Loretta Cornell, MHSH President, Sister Dolores Glick, Vice President, and Sisters Elizabeth Langmead and Clare Walsh, Field Advisors, are LCWR members representing the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart.   

As we commemorate the anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, let us reflect on the past ten years and how we have responded as children of God.  We continue to pray for those families affected by the loss of loved ones and the many that were injured.

Though we as a country went to war to create solace through violence, we also saw the coming together of people of all faiths to try to understand each other in deeper and profound ways.  We have witnessed some families of the victims who declared, “Not in our name!” coming together to call for peace during the most heart-rending times of their lives.  People of faith have come together realizing that healing does not come through violence.

We also recognize the backlash against all Muslims, the hate speech and attacks that occurred using 9/11 as the reason.  We were challenged by Saadia Khan, Civic Outreach Coordinator of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in our Resolution to Action:  “It is the collective responsibility of all community and faith leaders to work together to ensure that the voices of hate and bigotry are not the loudest ones.  Each of us shares the duty to direct the public discourse and educate our communities on accepting one another.  If this type of hate speech and bigotry continues, it will affect the Muslim American youth the most.”

May what we have witnessed during the past ten years call us to recognize that which unites us more than that which divides—our common humanity.  May we continue to pray for peace throughout the world and be bearers of forgiveness and reconciliation.

North Pool of the National 9/11 Memorial Waterfalls at the World Trade Center site, called "Reflected Absence" (Amy Dreher photo).