Mourning Sandy Hook and a Novena for Healing

Each one lovely, unique, and irreproducible; wildflowers and people alike. Today the unthinkable happened, and as I sat only half-listening to the news as I worked, I couldn’t imagine the connection between a shooting somewhere in Connecticut and Sandy Hook across the bay from me in New Jersey. Then the sickening reality hit me that the news was discussing my Godson’s school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Blessedly, he’s beyond the fourth grade and in a different school.

When I called their home, Rachelle’s very first words were, “The children are alright.”

But they won’t be, really. Anyone in Sandy Hook and Newtown. Terror is yielding to exhaustion and numbness tonight. Today was just the first of several convulsions that will roil that community for the next two weeks as the tiny bodies are waked and buried; as the teachers who no doubt did all they could are also laid to rest; as the gunman too is consigned to the earth.

Then will come the hard work of healing the gaping wounds in minds, hearts, and souls who have suffered the greatest of all social betrayals: the targeting of children, most of whom were still babies in kindergarten. Unspeakable evil.

Beginning tomorrow night, (Saturday) the Coming Home family will gather at 8 PM for nine nights to lift up our extended family in Sandy Hook and Newtown in a Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes for Healing.

No words can ever console or assuage the grief that is beyond description. However, our prayers will lift the community up and aid in giving them strength in this, their greatest hour of trial. When you visit each night, please leave your well-wishes in the comments box, I assure you, the folks there will see them.

For now, tonight while the bodies still lie in the school, we keep vigil with all of Sandy Hook and Newtown.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let Perpetual Light shine upon them.

May they rest in peace. Amen.

[Editor’s note: tune in to Dr. Nadal’s blog starting tomorrow (Saturday) night for the Novena prayers.]

Dr. Gerard Nadal is Science and Health Education Policy Advisor for the Bioethics Defense Fund. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from Saint John's University, New York City. After his post-baccalaureate sciences at Columbia University, New York City,  Dr. Nadal returned to Saint John's University where he received his Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Master of Philosophy in Biology, and Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology. Also a member of University Faculty For Life and the Catholic Writers Guild, Dr. Nadal is a columnist for Headline BistroDr. Nadal also serves on several advisory boards, including the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, Good Counsel Homes, and the Children First Foundation. A Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and unapologetic Roman Catholic loyal to the Magisterium, Dr. Nadal and his wife home school their three children. He blogs at Coming Home.