Accompanying the pain

Today’s Stations of the Cross in the Dulce Nombre Parish brought me to tears several times.

But what most struck me were the photos and names of people who had been murdered in the past year.

One community has suffered much: four deaths in the last five months – and it’s a community where visitors from the sister parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in Ames helped with the foundations of the church about two years ago.

I realized that I knew one of the persons killed; in fact, we had worked with Daniel on the church building.


I was also struck at the photo of one of the young people killed – so young. He was very recently killed at 17. The photo is from a few years ago and he appears much younger.


I talked several times with the family members. One young man, the son of the man I knew, was especially stricken, many times close to tears. All I could do was put my arm around him. During the greeting of peace, we hugged.

As I look back on this, I realize that one of the most important things we can do is accompany them, to be present to them, to show them that we love them.

How I wished that some members of St. Thomas Aquinas Church or some of my friends could have been there, showing their care by their presence.

We need lots of things here; we need to work on alternatives to violence; we need to find ways that people can improve their lives and the lives of their families.

But I think we also need the accompaniment of people, people willing to be with the people.

Any takers?


More photos of the stations can be found here.

The Spanish text of the stations can be found here:  Via Crucis Romero DNM.

2 responses to “Accompanying the pain

  1. John,
    I couldn’t get through earlier. Some glitch in this infernal machine.
    Maybe the new “Heartbleed” bug.

    Anyway: this is so beaautiful, John, so much to take into my soul and feed my thoughts, particularly as we enter Holy Week.

    A thought hit me when I first began to read the post:
    the word ‘celebrates’ juxtaposed with ‘death.’ Never thought of this connection before. Seems strange to connect the two words. I know what it means theologically of course but it did cause me to stop and think.

  2. Much appreciate your posts, obliged.

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