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Vatican responds to handwritten letters from Uvalde students

J-P Mauro - published on 10/28/22

The letters are heartbreaking in their own right, but the kids are full of hope and expressed happiness in their new school.

The Vatican has responded to letters from former students of Robb Elementary who were present for the tragic school shooting on May 24, 2022. The hand-written letters come from students who have since transferred to Sacred Heart Catholic School in Uvalde, with some of them written by students who were shot and survived. 

There have been many students of Robb Elementary School who have transferred to Sacred Heart since the shooting, which claimed the lives of 19 fourth graders and two teachers. For many students, the transfer came thanks to Catholic Extension, a fundraising organization that provided assistance and scholarships for many of the victims of the Uvalde incident. 

Catholic Extension also helped to facilitate this letter-writing project, personally delivering the letters to Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich, who ensured they would reach Rome.


According to Kens5, which produced the above video, the letters were organized by Sacred Heart’s librarian, Sister Maria Luisa Aldape. In a note introducing the students’ letters, Sr. Aldape wrote: 

“We have invited the children to write to you and share with you their pain and their hopes for the future. Some bear the scars on their flesh and all in their hearts.”

The letters are heartbreaking in their own right, but they are also full of hope for the future. The Archdiocese of San Antonio noted that one letter-writer who had taken a bullet on that fateful day, Noah, wrote to the pope that he felt “safe and loved” in his new school. Noah was one of the students who benefited from a Catholic Extension scholarship. 

Vatican response

A response on behalf of the pope was sent back to the students of Sacred Heart. The note from the Holy See said: 

“His Holiness will remember the students, their families and all of those suffering from the recent act of violence in Uvalde. Commending each of them to the protection of Mary, Mother of the Church, His Holiness imparts his blessing.”

Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, expressed his gratitude to the Vatican for the prompt response: 

“We thank His Holiness for keeping the suffering children and families of Uvalde in his prayers, especially those who lost loved ones in this senseless act of violence. These letters written by Sacred Heart Catholic School students symbolize their pain and hopes for their future as they continue to grieve the loss of life and innocence that struck their community.”

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