Thursday, August 12, 2021

El Paso, surviving a tragedy

One of the most unfortunate outcomes of the pandemic and lockdown is the division, even hatred, it has generated in our country, churches, and relationships--politically, spiritually, and physically. I appreciated this blog by Carrie Bucalo, who wrote about how El Paso came together to pray and work to heal after a shooting on August 3, 2019 that killed 23 at a Walmart wreaked havoc on the community. I scrolled through about 20-30 articles (mainly on the 2nd anniversary of the tragedy) and found only the usual ramping up of hate, alarm, anger, pleas for more gun control laws, and blame from NYT, LAT, NPR, CNN, and local news. The "never waste a crisis" usual suspects. I didn't browse FB, Twitter or the other cesspools of hate on the internet. It's as though the media can't be sated; it must have more blood to meet the budget and needs of stockholders.

Jesus has a different way.
by Carrie Bucalo

"There are many things that can weigh a marriage and a family down, but nothing could have prepared us for the day a gunman showed up at our local Walmart and wreaked havoc on our El Paso community. It was our eldest son's birthday, and a miracle, really, that we weren't in that store buying a present the morning the shootings occurred.

Immediately, my husband and I called everyone we knew, and we received phone calls from worried family members and friends all around the world [she's a military wife]. My heart sank when I saw my children's school on national television. It had become the reunification center for all those misplaced by the tragedy. We watched the story unfold from our living room as our school's principal, counselors, and staff worked behind the scenes, attending to the needs of survivors, all the while preparing for the first day of school, just nine days away.

We prayed for the survivors and the victims at Mass the next day, and we attended a city-led prayer vigil. It was amazing to see a city come together like that, and even more amazing to see the smiling faces of our school's principal and teachers on the first day of school. Against all odds, they were there with open arms and open hearts to welcome everyone back. My family is deeply grateful for all of those mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers who didn't let hate paralyze their faith. Their witness is still moving mountains today." Articles (

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