By Sister Dani Brought, ASC

On a recent Sunday morning in La Labor, Guatemala, I was enjoying my cup of coffee when I heard church bells ringing next door. The bells or dobles in Spanish signify a funeral service for someone who had died two days before.

We had learned on Friday the sad, sad news that young Mario had died.

Mario, the 30-year-old husband of Merli, and father of three, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he waited at a corner store in Guatemala City to buy food for his work crew. He is yet another victim of the ever-continuing violence here in Guatemala.

He and his wife had met while students at the school in La Labor that is named for Maria De Mattias, our religious community’s founder. After 12 years of marriage, Mario and Merli would still walk hand in hand through the village, as their two older kids would run around them or ask to help carry the small baby born just seven months ago.

And so, as I put my coffee down to join the many neighbors in the packed church, I wondered: As an Adorer of the Blood of Christ,

  • How do I respond to this act of violence, to this loss, to this sadness?
  • How should any of us respond to violence that seems at times to have spun out of control?

Today, I will continue to accompany Merli and her family, with a strong embrace, compassionate presence and a sharing of words and tears.

Tomorrow, I will respond to the sound of the dobles wherever they call.

How about you?