St. Louis, Mo., Oct 25, 2022 / 15:38 pm (CNA).
After a gunman at a magnet high school in St. Louis killed two people in an Oct. 24 rampage, the local bishop and several nearby parishes are urging prayers for the victims and an end to gun violence in the community.
Authorities said a 19-year-old former student at Central Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) High School entered the school with an AR-15-style rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition on Monday morning, killing a 15-year-old student and a 61-year-old teacher and injuring at least seven other people. The suspect was subsequently killed in a shootout with police.
Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski of St. Louis urged prayers for the victims and an end to gun violence in the city.
“Once again people in our city have experienced the tragic loss of lives and the trauma of a school shooting. I am holding our neighbors in the Central Visual & Performing Arts High School community in my prayers,” he wrote.
“I urge all people of good will to join together in prayer for everyone affected by today’s shooting, and for divine guidance as we continue as a community to seek ways of addressing the dual crises of mental health and violence.”
Bishop Shawn McKnight of the neighboring Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, also called for prayers.
“Please join me in praying for all affected by the shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts high school in St. Louis,” McKnight said on social media. “We seek God‘s guidance and comfort as we try to make sense of this tragedy.”
St. Margaret of Scotland parish, located about two miles from CVPA school, scheduled a youth-only vigil Oct. 25 to pray for the victims of the shooting and an end to gun violence in the community. All students in seventh through 12th grade were invited to “be with one another, grieve, and process,” the parish said.
St. Ambrose parish, also nearby, shared a post on Facebook asking for prayers for the victims. “Let us pray for peace in our world and close to home. ‘I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33,” the parish said.
The nearby Church of the Magdelen also called for prayers.
The shooting in St. Louis happened just one day before an already-planned Vigil to Save Children’s Lives and Interfaith Gun Safety Initiative launch, an effort to promote gun safety backed by several area churches including the Archdiocese of St. Louis Peace and Justice Commission.
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