We live in times of great unrest and violence. That violence explodes daily in many places throughout our country including on the streets of Indianapolis. That violence was experienced in a terrible way this past Wednesday, August 12, when our parish son, Jack Shockley, was murdered outside of a McDonald's restaurant. This past week has been one of shock and grief for Jack's family and his many friends. His tragic death has been followed by an outpouring of love and support for the Shockley family. Hundreds of people stood in line for hours Monday afternoon and evening to pray for Jack and to offer condolences to his parents, Cheryl and Steve, and his siblings Grace and Peter. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday morning in our parish church where Jack was baptized, made his First Holy Communion and was confirmed in his faith.
We remain united in prayerful solidarity with the Shockley family and grateful for the ways in which they have allowed us to share in their grief during this terrible time. We also thank Jack's family for the beautiful witness they have given us. They have asked us to remember not only Jack, but the man who has been arrested for his murder and that man's family. They have asked us to remember the two other people who were murdered in Indianapolis on the same day that Jack died. They have asked us to pray that good can come from this tragic event. They have witnessed to the Gospel in a powerful way to all of us who are privileged to know them and to be a part of their parish family.
May Jack's soul now rest in peace and may the Shockley family know the gift of God's loving consolation and the continuing support of our parish family in the weeks and months ahead.
May we honor Jack's life by turning away from violence in the many forms that it takes in our own lives and in this community in which we live. Jack's death at a young age and the unexpectedness of his death are reminders to us of the fragility and finiteness of our lives on earth. The wise words of the 18th century Quaker minister, Stephen Grellet, are an important reminder to us. He wrote, "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."