I love Jack Shockley. I find myself in the cozy lounge at St. Elizbeth Seton Catholic Church after noon mass, gathering my thoughts to write a BLOG, when I realize I am existing in one of Jack’s “bits.” He is laughing hysterically in this moment. You know he is. Only Jack, and what happened to him, could lead me to this moment. I am technophobic. I have not owned a computer since I gave my credit card number to a scam operator over a decade ago. I have an iPhone that overwhelms me; I am the only one I know who can go for days without it. Friends and family call Steve if they really and truly need me.
And yet, here we are. I say “we” because I need you. When Steve and I met with the Archbishop and Vicar General (Monsignor Stumpf, who baptized Jack) shortly after Jack was killed, we asked for guidance for the way forward. Monsignor Stumpf suggested our approach would be most effective (and less overwhelming) if we could support one child, one life, at a time. And when I asked, in my despair, what to do, how to go forward, he smiled and said to stay with Our Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross and say my yes. This was amazing, powerful, and beautiful advice. Our Jack Shockley Warriors for Peace Scholarship was born that day.
Flannery O’Connor wrote: “Evil is not simply a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be endured.” In the months since Jack died, I have come to realize that I will probably never have answers. But it is in our human DNA to seek meaning. My prayer is that we can seek meaning together. As I said, I need you—to share suffering as well as hope. Some of the questions we might begin to explore together: What does it mean to be a peacemaker? What does it mean to be a warrior? How do those qualities fit this moment in time? How do we help one another to grow as Jack Shockley Warriors for Peace?
Jack inspired this effort. Use this space to share your experiences, laugh his laughs, and share his witty comments. But always keep in mind: Jack Shockley loves his mama; and Jack Shockley loves you.