Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit said he was “heartbroken” on Tuesday after hearing of the “horrific tragedy” of a school shooting outside the city earlier in the day.
“I am heartbroken to hear of the horrific tragedy at Oxford High School,” Vigneron said in a Nov. 30 tweet.
“On behalf of the clergy, religious, and faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit, I offer heartfelt prayers for the victims, their families, and all those affected in our community,” he added.
In a follow up tweet, the archbishop said: “May our Blessed Mother wrap all those wounded — physically, emotionally, or spiritually — in her loving mantle and offer them consolation in the difficult days ahead.”
The suspect, a 15-year-old student at Oxford High School, opened fire mid-day Nov. 30. The school is located in Oxford, Michigan, about 45 miles north of Detroit. Four students have died as a result of injuries suffered, and six more students and a teacher are gravely injured.
The suspected shooter has been taken into custody. According to the local sheriff’s department, the boy did not resist arrest.
The Twitter account for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commented that “We join @DetArchbishop in offering our prayers for the tragedy at #oxfordhighschool.”
According to a tweet from the Michigan Catholic Conference, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Orion held a Mass for “healing and peace” Nov. 30.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by today’s senseless act of violence #oxfordhighschool,” it added.
St. Joseph’s parish is the closest Catholic church to Oxford, Detroit Catholic reported. Father John Carlin, the associate pastor at St. Joseph’s, gave the homily to a crowd of students, parents, and parishioners, according to Detroit Catholic.
Carlin reminded those who filled the church that God hears their prayers and cries and said that nothing is stronger than Christ’s victory over death, Detroit Catholic reported.
Carlin said that “we don’t understand” when we experience a loss of friends or loved ones. He said that Christ “wants not only to walk with us in that darkness, but to let us know that He is there.”
“He’s not going anywhere, and He never will,” he added.
Clergy from St. Joseph counseled those present after Mass, Detroit Catholic reported. Eucharistic adoration was offered afterwards, and confessions were heard as well.
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