I’m Father Michael Sheeran, the president
of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. This is an open letter to President Trump and the members of Congress. Our grief and solemn prayers
are with the victims, the families, the friends of our sisters and brothers in Parkland, Florida. Ours is a national tragedy. Yet we have hope because we have watched in admiration and awe as the poised articulate young survivors of the Parkland massacre have beseeched adults to fix this plague of gun violence in
America. It is not lost on us that none of them were even born when the
Columbine High killings in Littleton, Colorado claimed 13 lives. And yet the
shootings have gone on and on. We adults have repeatedly failed to fix this singularly American phenomenon. Now we must listen to our youth. We must not cruelly disparage them in this time of trauma and grief and anger. As Pope Francis has said, “Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you. Do not be afraid to dream of great things.” Ending the horrific mass killings in our schools and streets is a great thing we are all called to do. Now we urge you, as President and Members of Congress, to listen and to fix this indeed.