MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A Catholic school in Whitehaven is taking its faith beyond school walls in response to recent violence.
Wednesday afternoon the St. Paula Catholic School invited the community to pray with them for change.
Students at St. Paul started the event by singing praises for protection and an ending to rising violence.
Eighth-grader Annagale Robinson was among the speakers at the public prayer service.
“It’s just not a life that the children of Memphis want,” said Robinson.”They just want to have a peaceful life without any of this foolishness.”
She told WREG that from the abduction and murder of Eliza Fletcher to the city going on lockdown due to an active shooter rampage, it’s been nerve-racking for children.
“It doesn’t feel very safe,” Robinson added. “You always go to sleep wondering if I am going to get shot if my parents are going to be gone.”
St. Paul administrators said they are trying to help students work through their fears with faith and prayer.
“Sometimes you can see students having a little negative vibe because they hear it and they see it,” said Lawanda Thomas, Director of Marketing and Admissions.
The school’s principal also shared the impact she believes learning about violent crimes has on students.
“That can cause anxiety and fear and we want to rebuke that into trust so we can stand the truth that God is with us, that he loves us,” said Sister Mary Lawrence.
Dozens of local clergy members, first responders, and leaders attended the parent-led initiative focused on fighting crime with faith. It was a united front Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said is necessary.
“Events like this remind us that the only way we are going to have public safety in this community is for everyone to do their part,” said Harris.
St. Paul students and their families say they are ready to do the work to make Memphis streets safer.
“It’s a start, but when you pray you got to do the work as well,” said parent, Devon Thompson.