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Bishop Walkowiak's statement regarding the shooting in Las Vegas

Graphic: Pray for Las Vegas, hands holding a lit candleOct. 2, 2017

Bishop David J. Walkowiak has issued the following statement in response to the deadly shooting in Las Vegas which occurred Sunday evening (Oct. 1):

Along with the faithful of the Diocese of Grand Rapids I wish to offer my deepest condolences to everyone affected by the shooting at the country music festival in Las Vegas last evening. We pray for the victims and their families, the wounded, those who were a witness to this terrible tragedy, and the first responders who have been working to save lives.  

We cannot comprehend the motive behind this attack which now stands as the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. All we can do is turn to our Lord in prayer during this difficult time and ask God to console the grieving and support the suffering.
During this Respect Life Month, we continue our work in realizing the inherent dignity of all men and women. Every life is precious.” 

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):

From the Pope:

Pope Francis expressed his condolences by telegram to Most Rev. Joseph Anthony Pepe, bishop of Las Vegas:
Deeply saddened to learn of the shooting in Las Vegas, Pope Francis sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this senseless tragedy. He commends the efforts of the police and emergency service personnel, and offers the promise of his prayers for the injured and for all who have died, entrusting them to the merciful love of Almighty God.” 


Merciful and loving God, we pray for those who've died and those who were wounded in last night's shooting. In the wake of this violence, may you, through your healing hand, bring comfort to their families and friends and to the fearful. Lord, we lift up and give thanks for all the helpers, first responders and others who ran toward the scene and who stopped to assist and protect concert-goers. We turn to you with great hope and earnestly ask you to restore us and instill peace and love in the hearts of all humanity.
Resources to assist in conversations involving young people:
• Saint Mary’s Press:
• LifeTeen Session on “Dealing with Tragedy”
The following websites may be helpful for parents in talking about violence, and especially violence portrayed in media:
• Talking with Kids about News
• National Association of School Psychologists: Helping Children Cope with Terrorism
Read the USCCB's pastoral letter, “Confronting a Culture of Violence: A Catholic Framework for Action” (1994) which still provides the Christian approach to responding to violence. 
Look to the Prince of Peace
“Because we have been gifted with God's peace in the risen Christ, we are called to our own peace and to the making of peace in our world. As disciples and as children of God it is our task to seek for ways in which to make the forgiveness, justice and mercy, and love of God visible in a world where violence and enmity are too often the norm” (from the USCCB's "Confronting a Culture of Violence: A Catholic Framework for Action”).  Read the full text of the letter here