In the wake of a shocking and horrendous shooting inside a Tops supermarket on Jefferson Avenue that left 10 people dead and three injured on Saturday, May 14, faith leaders in the Diocese of Buffalo have reacted by calling for an end to racial violence and for a greater respect for human life.
Bishop Michael W. Fisher immediately sent a statement against gun violence.
“In what unfortunately has become an all too common occurrence in this country has now shown its abhorrently evil face in Buffalo as we have now learned that 10 innocent souls have lost their lives here.
On behalf of the Diocese of Buffalo, I, in the strongest of terms, condemn this utterly senseless act and pray for the victims and all those impacted by this act of cowardice.
“May the Good Lord guide us as we pray that our society regain respect for life and for an end to this tragic and despicable act in this beautiful city of ours. I encourage all Catholics and all people of faith to come together in prayer for the victims and for peace.
“The scourge of senseless gun violence that has taken the lives of so many across our nation and changed the lives of countless innocent men, women and children must come to an end,” he wrote.
#Onebody, a racially, generationally and ministerally mixed ministry, invites everyone to a Zoom session Tuesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. to pray for racial healing.
“The devastation that took place killing 10 people and the willful deliberate act by a young 19-year-old is a painful reminder of racial hatred,” #Onebody said in a statement. “Racial hate needs to be addressed. When it comes to race relations far too many are ‘soft walking the talk’ or are very evasive about it. This is #Onebody’shumble plea for our Church to come together and engage in an examination of conscience.”
The prayerful can log on at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7045696888. Meeting ID No. 704 569 6888 or connect by phone at +1-929-205-6099
The organization also offered the Catholic Charities Prayer for Racial Healing.
“God of justice, In your wisdom you create all people in your image, without exception. Through your goodness, open our eyes to see the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being. Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family. Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes, behaviors, and speech which demean others. Open our ears to hear the cries of those wounded by racial discrimination, and their passionate appeals for change. Strengthen our resolve to make amends for past injustices and to right the wrongs of history. And fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Bishop Fisher will host “Do Not Let Your Hearts be Troubled,” an interfaith prayer service on Monday May 23, beginning at 5 p.m. at St. Martin de Porres. Leaders from various faith communities will be invited to participate. More details will be coming soon.