An Act of Kindness to Promote Peace and Nonviolence

“There’s my teacher, “ a little girl shouted out. A woman with her looked around and said, “We ‘re here for this child’s father.”

The little girl’s father, Lavell Beason, was shot and killed in January. A large group of family members, neighbors and friends had gathered at the place of the homicide to participate in the Take Back the Site Vigil sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters, the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of St. Joseph along with their oblates and associates.

Beason’s mother was also present and thanked everyone for the kindness shown her. In the midst of her deep sadness she said: “I am grateful for the love and support extended to me and my family but this has to stop somewhere; it's getting worse and they're getting younger.” Beason was allegedly shot by a 14 year old boy who has since been apprehended and is awaiting preliminary hearings.

“This senseless death is such a tragedy,” said Sister Anne McCarthy, Coordinator for Benedictines for peace (BFP). “This is our second vigil of 2017 and we have another one yet to schedule. Gathering to pray and to reclaim the site for nonviolence is an important commitment we have been made but we hope for the day when these vigils will no longer be necessary.”

The religious women of Erie have been organizing these vigils since 1999. To date 102 vigils have been held and they will continue as long as death by violence continues. The vigil is an effort to reclaim the site of violence for non-violence. It honors the victim and prays for the family, friends and neighbors of both the victim and the alleged perpetrator, all of whom are affected.

*Lavell Beason was a guest at the Kids Cafe, a Benedictine ministry, until he was 18 years old. Read a remembrance posted on the Emmaus web page.