12th Sunday (Bulletin)

Many of us woke up last Sunday to the shock and horror of the news of at least 50 people killed and 53 others wounded in Orlando, Florida when an Afghan American opened fire on club goers with an assault weapon. It was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The U.S. bishops have condemned the mass shooting and are offering prayers for the victims and their families.

Bishop John Noonan of Orlando issued a statement last Sunday in which he said “A sword has pierced the heart of our city. Since learning of the tragedy this morning, I have urged all to pray for the victims, the families and first responders. I pray that the Lord’s mercy will be upon us during this time of sadness, shock and confusion. I urge people of faith to turn their hearts and souls to the great physician, our Lord Jesus Christ, who consoles and carries us through suffering with mercy and tenderness. The healing power of Jesus goes beyond our physical wounds but touches every level of our humanity: physical, emotional, social, spiritual. Jesus calls us to remain fervent in our protection of life and human dignity and to pray unceasingly for peace in our world.”

In a statement, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said “waking up to the unspeakable violence in Orlando reminds us of how precious human life is. Our prayers are with the victims, their families and all those affected by this terrible act. The merciful love of Christ calls us to solidarity with the suffering and to ever greater resolve in protecting the life and dignity of every person.”

Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago also issued a statement, saying, “Our prayers and hearts are with the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, their families and our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. We are grateful to the first responders and civilians who heroically put themselves in harm’s way, providing an enduring reminder of what compassion and bravery look like--even in the face of such horror and danger. In response to hatred, we are called to sow love. In response to violence, peace. And, in response to intolerance, tolerance. The people of the Archdiocese of Chicago stand with the victims and their loved ones, and reaffirm our commitment, with Pope Francis, to address the causes of such tragedy, including easy access to deadly weapons. We can no longer stand by and do nothing.” 

On Wednesday, June 22nd at 7pm here at Our Lady of Lourdes will have a prayer vigil for the victims of this act of terror and violence and for the many places in our world which have recently experienced the pain of oppression and fear through similar acts of violence. Please join us as we gather to pray for peace, for solace and for an outpouring of God’s mercy and love. 

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