Newtown pastor grateful for response to shooting

  • Written by Kevin Birnbaum
  • Published in National

Western Washington Catholics sent donations, posters, prayer shawls

The pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown, Conn., sent a letter April 5 to the Archdiocese of Seattle, expressing his gratitude for the support his community received in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, which left 20 children and six educators dead.

In a cover letter, Msgr. Robert Weiss wrote: “Since the tragedy of 12/14 that so deeply affected our parish and community, the outpouring of kindness from dioceses, parishes, Catholic schools, institutions and organizations has been overwhelming and deeply appreciated. We have tried to acknowledge as many gifts, donations, Mass cards and other items that were sent to us, but we found it something more than we could handle.”

He explained that he hoped an attached letter could be printed in diocesan publications and parish bulletins. (Read the full text of Msgr. Weiss’ letter here.)

“There are many difficult days ahead for us filled with a diversity of challenges and issues that seem to emerge daily,” he continued in the cover letter. “Your continued prayers for us would be greatly appreciated.”

He concluded, “We learned how universal our Church is as a result of this tragedy which makes us all proud to be Catholic. Standing with us following this violent act has made a difference for which we will be forever grateful.”

Catholics from around Western Washington have reached out to the people of Newtown in recent months. As reported in the Jan. 10 edition of The Progress, parishioners at St. Leo the Great Parish in Tacoma knitted five prayer shawls and sent them to St. Rose of Lima Parish.

All students, faculty and staff at Our Lady of Fatima School in Seattle signed a “prayer poster” that was sent to Newtown.

St. Joseph School in Seattle sent a $2,000 donation to the Newtown fire department, and Jesuit Father John Whitney led two prayer services for the victims and the community.

Eighth-graders at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Vancouver sold hot chocolate during recess to raise $560.45, which they sent to St. Rose of Lima, designated for the families of the victims.

Catholic News Service - April 25, 2013