Statement of Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, of San Antonio on shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs

We need prayers! The families affected in the shooting this morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs need prayers. The evil perpetrated on these who were gathered to worship God on the Lord’s Day — especially children and the elderly — makes no sense and will never be fully understood. Disbelief and shock are the overwhelming feelings; there are no adequate words. There can be no explanation or motive for such a scene of horror at a small country church for families gathered to praise Jesus Christ.

At this time, there are reports that more than 25 were killed and more than 20 have been wounded while gathered for Sunday morning worship in their small sanctuary. Those injured are currently being treated at hospitals in San Antonio and Floresville.

These Baptist brethren are our family, friends and neighbors who live among us in the archdiocese; just minutes away from our Wilson County parishes of Sacred Heart in Floresville, St. Ann in La Vernia, and St. Mary in Stockdale. We are committed to work in unity with all our brothers and sisters to build peace in our communities; to connect in a more direct and substantial way. The Catholic Church in Texas and across the United States is with you.

Catholic Charities of the archdiocese stands ready to assist and provide whatever services may be needed in this time of tragedy and will do whatever needs to be done.

Let’s help these brothers and sisters with prayers; they need us. Also, pray fervently for peace amidst all of the violence which seems to be overwhelming our society. We must be lights in the darkness.

“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”

May God have mercy!

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