When the pastor of St. Patrick's church in Kansas City, Missouri, was approached by concerned parents worried about the safety of the parish school, he decided to act. In the wake of recent school shootings, he held a meeting for parents. According to an account in the Kansas City Star, Father Gerald Waris told the nearly 100 parents who came to the evening meeting that the school would do all it could to provide a safe environment.
He said staff would take special training, that the school would more stringently enforce a requirement for visitors to sign in and wear badges. A speaker was scheduled to talk to the school children about bullying.
Then Waris switched to what parents could do. First, check the kids' backpacks every day to make sure there were no objects students could use to harm themselves or others. And, he said, parents could remove the guns from their homes. He offered to take any guns and lock them up until the school year is over. It would be done in complete confidentiality. If an owner wanted the gun returned, the priest would hand it over.
There were no takers. No discussion. No reaction, even from one parent who had threatened to take his children from the school, he was so fearful for their safety. He owned guns, by the way. He admitted to Waris that he did. No doubt the guns are much like the ones used when kids kill kids at other schools.
From all indications, the parent who said he owned a gun and the other parents are not unusual. Kids keep killing kids with their parents' guns. Sometimes the kids use guns they own themselves. Parents worry. They ask questions. They wonder how such things could happen. And they keep the guns.
Rev. Francis F. Baiocchi
A Reading from the second letter of Saint Peter.
Dear friends, this point must not be overlooked: in the eyes of the Most High, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. God does not delay in keeping the promise, as some regard "delay." Rather, God shows you a generous patience, desiring that no one perish but that all come to repentance.
The day of our God will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will vanish with a roar. The elements will catch fire and fall apart; and the earth and all its works will be destroyed in the flames. Since everything is to be destroyed in this way, what holy and devoted lives you should lead!
Look for the coming of the day of God, and try to hasten it along. Because of it the heavens will be destroyed in flames, and the elements will melt away in a blaze. What we await are new heavens and a new earth where, according to the promise, God's justice will reside. So beloved, while waiting for this, make every effort to be found at peace without stain or defilement in God's sight.