Why the mother who forgave her daughter’s killer doesn’t like the phrase “radical forgiveness”

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On March 28, 2010, Kate and Andy Grosmaire received two pieces of news that would change their lives forever.

The first was their worst nightmare: “Ann has been shot.”

And the second was the dumbfounding addendum: “Conor was the one who shot her.”

Their nineteen-year-old daughter had been killed by her boyfriend, a young man who had lived with the family and had come to feel like part of it.

In a beautiful, tragic testament to the liberating power of forgiveness, Kate Grosmaire tells the story of her daughter’s murder at the hand of her boyfriend—and the stunning, deliberate forgiveness and help that Kate and her husband offered to the young man who shattered their world.

Part memoir, part spiritual testimony, Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer is the story of a family whose faith was put to the test and so found the capacity to do far more than they could have thought or imagined.

Kate’s new book, Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer: A True Story of Loss, Faith, and Unexpected Grace, is challenging readers across America.  Kate sat down to answer a few questions about what happened to her daughter and how she and her husband Andy both decided to forgive the shooter.

Q. You and Andy did not initially talk publicly about your loss of Ann and your journey with Conor. What changed and why did you decide it was time to share your story in this new book?

A: At first, it was difficult to see our daughter as a headline on the front page of the newspaper in a very personal life struggle. We didn’t want our daughter’s struggle to be sensationalized and we didn’t want to participate in sensationalizing her story. When we decided to pursue restorative justice, we knew it was something foreign to most people—even we hadn’t heard of it. Andy and I were spending this time ourselves learning about what restorative justice was; we hardly felt capable of going to the media to teach the world about it at the time. Until the case was resolved (Conor was sentenced), the story didn’t have an ending. We always intended to share our story once there was a complete story to tell.

Q. Why is your story of forgiveness important to tell?

A. I believe that we are here on this earth to help one another through life. To share our burdens with one another, so that no one feels that they are all alone. Forgiveness brings healing and peace to the forgiver and having experienced that in such a profound way, I have to share the impact that forgiving Conor has made in my life.

Q. Some have called your and Andy’s choice to forgive Connor, “radical,” but you don’t see it that way. Will you explain?

A. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God for several things: our daily bread, deliverance from evil; but there is only one thing that we promise Him: to forgive others. We are simply doing what God requires of us. Through our work in the Healing Prayer Ministry, we had begun to practice forgiveness in our own lives. We saw the benefits of forgiveness and reconciliation in our own marriage. We understood that God doesn’t want us to forgive one another to prove how radical we are as Christians, but to experience his mercy and grace in our lives.

Q. Why did you believe in redemption for Conor?

A. We loved Conor. We had seen that he was interested in coming to church and we tried to encourage him in learning more about God’s Church. In a desperate moment, Conor made a horrible decision. We could not condemn him for that one moment of his life. He is so much

[Read more…]

What is “restorative justice” and how does it empower the victims of crime?

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On March 28, 2010, Kate and Andy Grosmaire received two pieces of news that would change their lives forever.

The first was their worst nightmare: “Ann has been shot.” [Read more…]

Her daughter was killed; see what happened when the mom visited the shooter in prison

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From the New York Times: [Read more…]

Obama says THIS about his wife’s figure, and feminists freak out

When you’re the President, every word is examined and every action second-guessed, but this takes the cake. Ashley E. McGuire of Truth Revolt, points out that the President made a critical mistake during a CNN interview: [Read more…]

Suicide Bomber Targets Christian Women & Children in Easter Sunday Massacre

While many of us in America sat down in our pews on Sunday, dressed in our Easter finest, hundreds of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Lahore, Pakistan were killed or seriously injured in a suicide bombing.

Many Christians had gathered in a local park to celebrate Easter, when a suicide bomber from an Al Qaeda splinter group specifically targeted them. Over 70 people were killed and more than 341 were injured in the blast. An overwhelming number of the casualties were women and children.

CNN has one eyewitness report:

One witness, Danish, was at the amusement park with his two sisters. He recalled the moment that the explosion ripped apart the park, killing one of his sisters and seriously injuring the other.

“It was so crowded that there was even no way of entering it. We went to a canteen to have something to eat, when there was suddenly a big blast. Everyone panicked, running to all directions. Many of them were blocked at the gate of the park. Dead bodies can be found everywhere,” he told reporters.

“My sister got wounded in the neck. The object hit her looks like a piece of hard iron, and it burnt her in the neck. She was also wounded in the chest.”

And now a leader of the terrorist group responsible has vowed that such attacks against Pakistan’s Christian minority will continue.

Christians make up less than 2% of Pakistan’s population, and they are now facing ever-increasing persecution from the majority hardline Muslim population.

I think it is often hard for those of us in America to truly understand what our brothers and sisters abroad go through for the sake of our faith. Although we have our own form of cultural oppression, it pales in comparison to the daily martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East and East Asia.

Christians in many of these countries are living next door to Islamic terrorists who could attack at any moment. And, unfortunately in many of these majority Muslim countries like Pakistan, even Muslims who aren’t terrorists are more likely to sympathize with ISIS than with Christians. As David has previously pointed out, 72% of Pakistan’s population can’t bring themselves to have a negative view of ISIS, the most radical and deadly terrorist group in centuries.

No wonder our fellow Christians face so much danger and persecution.

As our season of Lent and Easter comes to a close, may we remain in a posture of prayer for those affected by the attack in Lahore, and may we lift up our Christian brothers and sister their whose very lives are in constant peril.

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