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Surviving Sandy Hook by living at the foot of the cross 

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OSV Institute

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 07/01/22

One Sandy Hook mother explains that the only way she’s been able to endure is through her Catholic faith.

A mass shooting at your child’s school is every parent’s worst fear, but far too many parents have lived through that nightmare.

For one mother, the only way she’s been able to endure is through her Catholic faith. 

Laura Phelps is the mother of two children who survived the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012. She recently shared her story in a talk called “Sandy Hook & Life at the Foot of the Cross.”

The video is one in a series of OSV Talks, which shine a light on creative means of evangelization, springing from the wisdom and deep prayer that energize these approaches. Like TED Talks but with a Catholic focus, the videos are free and available to watch at and on YouTube.

You can see Laura’s talk here:

After the Sandy Hook shooting, Laura and so many others grappled with a crisis of faith. 

“How do you cope with an unjust suffering like that?” she asked in her talk. “How do you make sense of the absolute senseless, right? And how do you believe in a God who allows that to happen?”

Laura concluded that she only had two options: “Walk away from God, or walk towards him.”

Only one of those options brought her peace: “I’m here to tell you today that you’re walking away, it’s not gonna work.” 

Carrying the Cross is unavoidable, for every person, each in a different way. Laura looks to our Blessed Mother to understand how to live “at the foot of the Cross.”

“The Cross, my friends, it’s not an option. It’s reality. And it’s the one thing that we’ve all got in common … It’s been Our Lady who has shown me the way.”

She explains exactly how her faith and the example of Our Lady have shown her a way forward through the pain and trauma. 

It’s a “must watch” for anyone carrying a heavy cross. And that’s most of us, right? 

If you’re grappling with difficult questions, hard situations, and trauma of any kind, we hope you find hope and help in Laura’s talk. 

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