~ A LETTER FROM THE ARCHBISHOP ~
My dearest brothers and sisters,
I am saddened beyond words over the tragedy that has struck your local community and the campus of Umpqua Community College. Even though I am unable to be physically present with you at this particular moment, know that I am very much united with all of you in spirit and in prayer. We are one body in Christ, and when even one member suffers, we all suffer with them. My heart is indeed very heavy with sorrow as I grieve with all of you.
Along with you, I cannot begin to make sense of the tragic loss of life of our fellow community members and the many wounded in this terrible and violent attack. Why such shooting tragedies continue to happen is hard to understand. Sadly, we live in the midst of a culture that does not value the dignity and sacredness of every human life as it once did.
We must unite our suffering and the suffering of all those most directly affected by this tragedy with the cross of Jesus. In Christ, sorrow, death and loss are transformed by the glory of the resurrection. Jesus has conquered sin and death and opened the way to eternal life. Let us prayerfully commend our deceased brothers and sisters to the mercy of our loving Father. Let us also pray for healing and strength for all those who grieve the loss of loved ones and who care for the wounded.
Know that I will continue to unite myself in prayer with all of you. God bless you, and may the God of mercy keep you in his loving care now and forever.
In Jesus and Mary,