The Tragedy at Newtown

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on December 17, 2012

in social media

Candles ID-1001866Along with many other people, I spent this past weekend trying to process the horrible tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. A young man only 20 years old burst into the school and shot 20 children and six adults after he had already shot and killed his own mother. He then killed himself. As the terrible details emerged and the stories of courage on the part of the school personnel became known, the reality sunk deeper and deeper into my consciousness. I watched every newscast with tears in my eyes and grieved with and for all of the families who lost loved ones in this senseless act of violence. Six and seven year old children gunned down in their own school! A principal, school psychologist and teachers dying trying to protect their students. This is unthinkable.

As I expressed my sorrow and offered prayers on Facebook and Twitter for all of those impacted, I found consolation in the many, many words of shared grief that I found. The social networks provided a place where we could speak our confusion, our anger, our shock, our disbelief that this could happen to children and their teachers. We consoled one another and offered support to those whose lives are changed forever. We thought about what needs to be done to end this culture of violence which erupts in the death of innocent people time and time again in our country. We called on our leaders to help us find a way protect our children.

I also found inspiration and heartfelt expressions of grief in the writing of other bloggers including Dan Horan, OSF, who wrote The Advent of Almighty God after Newtown CT and Melannie Svoboda, SND, who shared her reflections on The Shooting in Connecticut

This last full week before Christmas will find the people in Newtown burying their dead. I pray that the courage, the compassion, and the care that we have witnessed from the families, the school community, the first responders, the local clergy and our public officials as well as the outpouring of love and support from people all over our country and the world will somehow converge in an effort to bring true peace on earth.

This is my last blog for 2012.  I will be posting again after the holidays.  I wish you all the peace and joy of Christmas and blessings in the New Year.  May it be a year in which our resolve to work for peace and to end all violence bears fruit.  May Christ reign in our hearts forever.


Candle Image courtesy of Darren Robertson at

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jean Ponder Soto December 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Thank you for your blog and the links. They are very helpful to me in trying to put this unspeakable tragedy into the context of God’s love. I note that social media is one of the few places were we can all come to grieve and comfort each other. Come to us Prince of Peace!

Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF, D. Min December 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Thank you for sharing your reflection at this time of sadness. What happened on Friday morning, is “madness, madness, madness” as said by Fr. Arsenio during the Sunday homily. Since the time of the birth of Jesus, we experience this madness in ways that continue to surprise and shock us. I just read this story “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother: A Mom’s Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America – Let us pray for all who experience children who threaten them. May we each in our own way bring “peace” and “comfort” to those who surround us.

Meredith Gould, PhD December 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Blessings to you during this holy season…

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