In the wake of the FedEx mass shooting in Indianapolis, more than 100 people gathered April 25 at STA for a candlelight vigil to lament the lives lost to gun violence and to call faith communities and government leaders to action.

St. Thomas Aquinas co-hosted the prayer service along with all the churches in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. Faith leaders led the lament, naming the 78 souls who had died by gun since Jan. 1, 2021.

Participants then moved to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s home and called on him to declare the epidemic of gun violence a public health crisis and convene a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to enact legislative solutions to this crisis. They lobbied for increased funding for mental health care and  community-based violence reduction programs. And they urged the governor and congressional leaders to advocate for mandatory universal background checks on all gun purchases, as well as bans on assault-style weapons.

The churches committed to:

  • Continuing to lift up the names of our neighbors whose lives are cut short by gun violence
  • Praying for their loved ones who are forced to experience unimaginable trauma
  • Keeping the human cost of this epidemic visible in our faith communities
  • Supporting nonviolence trainings offered by the Martin Luther King Center through financial resources, participation in the trainings, and encouragement of others to engage with this effort.

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