The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph Decries Homophobic and Transphobic Shooting in Colorado Springs

November 23, 2022

We stand with the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in decrying the homophobic and transphobic mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, on November 19. We grieve for the five individuals who were killed and the 18 people injured in a space known for sanctuary and celebration, and on the cusp of the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20.

As vowed Women Religious, Associates, Agrégées, St. Joseph Workers, and partners in mission who share this charism of unifying love, we name that violent hate crimes do not happen in isolation. Language, beliefs, and practices that condemn, reject, target, or blame LGBTQ+ people must be explicitly rejected, particularly by religious leaders and churches. In the wake of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub mass shooting, the CSSJ family gathered in solidarity in Orlando and affirmed the Gospel truth that all people are beloved and made in God’s image and likeness. All people deserve a life free from violence, persecution, discrimination, and hateful rhetoric that targets an individual or group because of their sexuality, race, gender identity, ethnicity, and/or religion.

We are called to actively interrupt hateful interactions in daily life and dismantle the systems that reinforce this rhetoric and violence in society, including anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that is sweeping across the country.

We must embody our Gospel charism of unifying love for the healing and transformation of the world. May we act to transform politics, our church, and our country to ensure that the dignity of every person is acknowledged, boldly accepted, and celebrated. Please take a moment to pray for each victim. When dignity is robbed from one, it is robbed from all. May all those who love them experience God’s consolation:

Daniel Aston, 28

Kelly Loving, 40

Ashley Paugh, 35

Derrick Wayne Rump, 38

Raymond Green Vance, 22

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