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Catholics respond in wake of Texas shooting

archbishop of san antonio offers Holy Mass in Uvalde

Diocese of San Antonio | Facebook

Aleteia - published on 05/26/22

The Catholic Church has reached out to provide financial aid, mental health services, and spiritual care in the wake of the tragedy at Robb Elementary.

When he received the news of the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, the Archbishop of San Antonio, Gustavo García-Siller, was in a meeting with the priests of his archdiocese.

The archbishop and several priests immediately left the meeting and headed to Uvalde, where he visited the families of those injured in the shooting. That night, May 24, Archbishop García-Siller celebrated Holy Mass at Sacred Heart, a nearby parish where families had gathered to grieve and to pray.

That evening Archbishop García-Siller issued a statement, saying, “There are no words to adequately convey the deep sadness and sorrow and overwhelming shock at the incomprehensible loss of life.”

“The word tragedy” continued the archbishop “doesn’t begin to describe what occurred.”

Counseling and legal services

On May 25, the day after the massacre, Catholic Charities began to provide crisis relief to those suffering tragedy and loss in Uvalde. The organization announced they were sending “trauma-informed counselors” to provide care to all “who may need compassionate therapy including grief and loss, parenting concerns and adjustment, and anxiety, depression, and stress management.” In particular, these counselors are trained and ready to help children and families heal from trauma.

Additionally, Catholic Charities will provide financial relief, including support for family members who need to travel. Readers can donate to support those efforts here.

Bishops speak out

Many U.S. Catholic bishops have spoken out against the increasing gun violence in the United States in the wake of the Robb Elementary shooting, which comes just on the heels of the recent tragic shooting in Buffalo, New York.

Among the first to speak was the Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Cupich – who regularly denounces gun violence – who said on Twitter on May 24: “Mass shootings have become a daily reality in America today.” He went on to share, “Two people died and 7 were injured last week during a mass shooting just down the street from Holy Name Cathedral. Last weekend in Chicago, 28 people were shot.”

For his part, Bishop Flores, the Bishop of Brownsville, Texas, condemned the sacralization of “death’s instruments.”

Pope Francis sent a message to the people of Uvalde, assuring them of his “spiritual closeness” and his commendation of the souls of the deceased to God’s mercy. He shared that he prays for “healing and consolation” for the injured and those mourning.

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