On March 14th, at 10:00am, over 500 Molloy students, with the support of many teachers and administrators, took part in the national movement to show solidarity in remembrance of lives lost to gun violence. This 17 minute “Walk With” prayer service included 14 students and three faculty members each reading the name of a victim of the Parkland, Florida tragedy. The service also included a reflection from senior Diana Alvarado ’18, who spoke passionately about the power that Stanners and students everywhere have to make a difference. The service concluded with the singing of God Bless America, led by Molloy’s junior/senior chorus. At the conclusion of the service, participating students returned to their scheduled classes. Students and faculty who chose not to participate remained in their scheduled classes.
Excerpts from reflection by Diana Alvarado ’18: “Our presence this morning evokes all of what it means to be Marist. We are united under such Marist virtues as presence, simplicity, and family spirit. But this moment in history will not be remembered…unless we stand in compassionate solidarity with the least favored, unless we realize that there are many social justice issues that need to be addressed by us. We must use our God-given unique gifts and talents to inspire each other to contact our reps, get a sense of what truly is behind the reform movements, and light a fire in each other to take action. This moment in history will not be remembered unless we work toward solutions, unless we realize it is our responsibility to keep this conversation going.”
Administrators, guidance counselors and faculty members considered many factors when formulating a structure for this event. Acknowledging the desire of many students to join this movement, school leadership sought to create a safe, meaningful, and respectful platform for students to stand in solidarity with the victims of gun violence, to educate students about the impact of real world issues on their lives, and to help students to understand that participation in the political process can create positive change.
Molloy was not alone, as many local Catholic schools, as well as Marist schools around the US Province, also held events to acknowledge this national movement. The Marist Brothers website has published a recap of Province-wide events, including Molloy’s: Visit Marist Brothers Recap