Catholic Community Offers Support and Prayer to Dayton Following Shooting on August 4
The Dayton community and the archdiocese as a whole were rocked by the news of a mass shooting in the downtown Oregon district on August 4, less than 24 hours after another mass shooting in El Paso, TX. The gunman, who was armed with an assault rifle and additional magazines, killed at least nine people and injured 27 more bystanders in under a minute’s time. Quick action from local police officers kept the casualty number from climbing even higher.
Following the massacre, the Dayton community pulled together for an informal prayer gathering at the Levitt Pavilion in downtown that afternoon. The local Catholic community also opened its arms and church doors in support and prayer for the victims. Holy Trinity Church on Bainbridge Street kept its doors open for the entire day of the tragedy, while other area Catholic Churches, including Immaculate Conception and St. Helen, offered special prayers during the day’s Masses for the victims of the weekend massacres in Dayton and El Paso. Additionally, the University of Dayton campus ministry invited the community to visit the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on campus throughout the day to sign a memorial prayer book, light a candle and pray in the chapel.
Prayer services will continue through the week, including one at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at UD at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Monday, August 5).
Archbishop Dennis Schnurr issued a statement asking for unified prayer:
“It is with a heavy heart that we turn to the Lord in prayer on this Sunday. As tragic and violent shootings continue in our country – yesterday in El Paso, Texas, and overnight in our own community of Dayton, Ohio – I ask for everyone of faith to join in prayer for the victims and their loved ones. May we, the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, in unity, petition our Blessed Mother to intercede for our families and neighbors to know the peace and healing of Jesus, her Son.”
Other Catholic community leaders responded to the tragedy with words of sorrow, pleas for peace and gratitude to first responders.
“The University of Dayton expresses its profound grief and sadness about the horrific shooting in the city’s Oregon District. As a Catholic, Marianist community, we offer our prayers for the families and loved ones of the victims and the wounded, both for our friends and neighbors here in Dayton and in El Paso, Texas.” said University of Dayton (UD) President Eric F. Spina in a public statement.
In a follow up statement, Spina said: “We also offer our thanks and support to the numerous University of Dayton police officers who responded to the scene in the Oregon District or supported officers through dispatch. Some assisted by treating and helping victims and all supported Dayton police in other ways. We are deeply grateful for the professionalism, skill and commitment of UD officers to keeping the whole community safe.”
Chaminade Julieen Catholic High School in Dayton also issued a statement. “We pray for all of the victims of this senseless violence: those who lost their lives, those who were injured and those who experienced indescribable moments of fear. May our good God grant them peace and consolation.”
As word of the tragedy spread across the globe, Pope Francis addressed the shooting directly on August 4 following the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square.
“I am spiritually close to the victims of the episodes of violence that these days have bloodied Texas, California and Ohio, in the United States, affecting defenseless people,” Pope Francis said.
He added, “I invite you to join in my prayer for those who have lost their lives, for the wounded and for their families.”
Prayer for victims in the Mass Shooting in Dayton
Lord Jesus, unite to your cross the sufferings of the many innocent victims of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and our own Dayton, Ohio.
Holy Spirit Consoler, visit those who have been physically and emotionally wounded from this tragedy, especially the family and friends of those who have died. Wrap them in the mantle of Your divine mercy.
We ask for the gift of peace and of the elimination of the sore of violence from our midst.
O God, Eternal Father, hear our prayer which we raise up to You.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.