“A sword has pierced the heart of our city,” said Bishop John Noonan of Orlando after the horror of last Saturday night. His diocese is now the location of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. (Read the Call to Prayer issued this week.)
The nation awoke Sunday – on the Lord’s Day – to yet another report of a mass shooting as a lone gunman stuck down patrons in an Orlando nightclub.
The Vatican reacted quickly with the release of an early morning statement. “Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion. Sharing in their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort,” said the statement released by the Holy See Press Office.
US Conference of Catholic Bishops President, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, also released a statement early Sunday morning while details of the massacre were emerging.
Many churches, thoughout the nation and the world, raised prayers for the dead and their families as cities and towns around the world took pause.
California Bishops have called for prayers in a number of statements issued throughout the ensuing week. Among those posting comments are Archbishop José Gomez (Los Angeles), Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone (San Francisco), Bishop Armando Ochoa (Fresno), Bishop Kevin Vann (Orange), Bishop Jaime Soto (Sacramento), Bishop Gerald Barnes (San Bernardino), Bishop Robert McElroy (San Diego) and Bishop Patrick McGrath (San Jose).