by Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI
As I have already expressed my sorrowful reflections to you, the people of the Diocese of San Angelo, through a letter I sent to all the priests of the diocese about the shooting tragedy at the school in Newtown, CT, I add these words of condolence and plead that we all continue to offer prayers for all those who have been affected by this horrible massacre of innocent children.
The shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut indeed wrenches the hearts of all people and has broken the hearts of many small children and countless others by this unexplainable massacre of innocent children. This tragic killing touches all of our lives as there is a common bond of love and support that hold us together as members of the human family and as people of God. This violence shatters the peace of all society, and especially as we are in the season of peace celebrating the birthday of the Prince of Peace.
As I have already done so, once again I pledge my prayerful support and of all of our people to all those affected by this tragedy in the city of Newtown, and to the Diocese of Bridgeport as they cope with this unbearable sorrow. We pray that the Prince of Peace, the Child-Jesus will reach out, especially to the little children whose lives have been destroyed, and the lives of so many other little children who have been affected by this profound, unforgettable experience.
As we prepare for the birthday of the Prince of Peace at Christmas, we need to pray and speak out against the culture of violence that is infecting our country more and more, and even entering into sacred and safe places like our schools. All of us are called, as followers of Christ, to work for peace in our homes, our streets and our world more than ever. This is a time to redouble our prayers for peace throughout the world, especially in the land, and in nearby lands, where our Savior, the Prince of Peace was born.
In the shadow of this tragic shooting, may we know that God’s sacrificial and compassionate love sustains us and may those pained so deeply by this tragedy experience God’s fatherly comfort and care in their own hearts. Their pain is our pain, their sorrow is our sorrow, their suffering is our suffering, and our hope gives them hope, our compassion inspires in them comfort and our helping hands helps them to raise their hands to make a new beginning, and our love strengthens their weary and broken hearts.