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Ministry to Families Hit by Violence Fills Growing Need

January 31, 2017

Gabriel Ramirez, 61, was attacked and killed in the middle of the afternoon on January 5. Last week, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone led a prayer service on the same street in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood where he was killed. The archbishop prayed to "soften the hearts of those who attacked Gabriel" and that the city be freed of violence as he sprinkled holy water on the concrete sidewalk.

The Ramirez family reached out to the archdiocese's Restorative Ministry Office for assistance because they had heard about prayer services being conducted around the city at sites where murders had occurred. 

The Archdiocese of San Francisco offers a ministry of presence to families who have lost loved ones in violent crimes. "Evidence tells me that there is a need for a special service of remembrance when people face this kind of loss," says Julio Escobar, Director of Restorative Ministry for the Archdiocese. "We have to get involved—in every diocese—and be there with prayer and presence at this most difficult time."