Priests Respond Quickly to Connecticut School Shooting

CNA reporting:

Several priests of the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport responded quickly to the mass murder of adults and schoolchildren at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school, rushing to the scene to comfort victims and their relatives.

Brian Wallace, the diocese’s director of communications, said that priests from St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, the only Catholic parish in Newtown, are actively responding.

“The parish is huge and extremely active and it’s just up the street,” Wallace told CNA Dec. 14.

“Within minutes (of the shooting) the pastor, Msgr. Bob Weiss, was at the scene of the tragedy working with families,” he said.

“He quickly alerted other priests from the parish who joined him. As this unfolded, and the significance of it became apparent, we also alerted all our clergy in the upper Danbury area.”

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on the morning of Dec. 14 left at least 27 people dead, including 18 children.

A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that the attacker was a 20-year-old man with ties to the school. He apparently had two guns.

Wallace said the murders have had a deep impact. “We’re disoriented by it,” he said. “It is so profoundly disturbing.”

“It’s a very difficult time. I think it’s going to get worse. The indications are that there may be a number of children who were killed.”

CBS News reports that the gunman was the father of one of the students and is from New Jersey. A possible second shooter is in custody.

Wallace also noted that many Catholic clergy have responded, including those in local medical facilities.

“Our chaplains in the hospitals are meeting with people. Our priests are on the ground doing everything they can to deal with grieving families and with people who have good news but are totally traumatized by what has occurred.”

Newtown is a small town of only 27,000 people.

“We don’t know yet who the victims are,” Wallace said. “We assume that a number of victims may be parishioners or their relatives.”

Monsignor Jerald A. Doyle, administrator of the Bridgeport diocese, promised the prayers of Catholics in the diocese and shared their “collective sense of grief, shock, and loss.”

“We are all deeply saddened and shocked by this unthinkable tragedy, and our hearts go out to the entire Newtown community,” he said Dec. 14.

“Catholics throughout the Diocese are urged to join us in prayer for the victims and their families.”

Catholic Charities of Fairfield County has a trauma team with experience in counseling those in crisis. The team will be available to help victims in the local parish and Catholic school. The agency is open to the wider community but at present is focused on those most likely to be part of Catholic organizations.

“Our focus is dealing with any families that are members of the parish who will need counseling immediately,” Wallace said…



4 thoughts on “Priests Respond Quickly to Connecticut School Shooting

  1. This is absolutely tragic! An horrific crime against innocent people, many of whom were children!Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones, and indeed to all the people of Newtown Connecticut.
    It is my view that young people today have been deprived of being allowed to have any form of religion or expression of Faith at all in or public school system, and all in the name of ‘political correctness.’
    With no firm faith in God, our youngsters have been deprived of the joy of a relationship with a loving God and with their peers. All to often when children are deprived of having a firm faith in a Loving God, anything goes, including acts of this violent nature. As the hymnwriter says
    “When comes the promised time, that war shall be no more ?
    And Lust, Oppression , crime, shall flee Thy face before!”
    Let us pray for this grieving community and support them in whatever way we can.

  2. The one responsible for this is godless, that is for certain, as are those responsible for other events that transpired these recent times. This is the result of evil, the sort of evil that fears no God. Yet God is merciful and just! Let us trust in Him! Those murdered innocents are hopefully, in the company of the holy innocents who lost their lives 2,000 years ago from these days, among many others in heaven!

    How terrible are the times we live in! I can only foresee worse things happening in the future. Unless something is done, there can only be more of these horrible events transpiring, or worse!

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us sinners!

  3. Noticed on the various news outlets not one word about this Catholic response. They did show a Sister from some Order arriving, she may have been a counselor and only once was mention made of a Catholic Church (the only parish Church is Saint Rose of Lima) would hold a prayer vigil. All other mentions were of the vigil at the Methodist Church on the other side of town. Saint Rose of Lima is just down the street from the school. Yes, religious tolerance for every group but the Roman Catholic Church now days. Never was that way back in my growing up days.

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