[Episcopal News Service] Ten people – eight students, two teacher – are dead following a May 18 shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, 40 miles south of Houston.
“Prayers are offered for the students, families and faculty who have been impacted by this act of violence,” said Bishop Andy Doyle in an email to the Diocese of Texas, which includes Santa Fe. “I have already received prayers from Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who reached out immediately.”
Diocesan staff contacted area community leaders, and locally clergy and lay leaders are reaching out to those connected to the school, he said.
“Like any church in the midst of the community, we are a network of relationships that include the very lives of those who are at this very moment dealing with the horror of personal loss,” Doyle said. “We grieve gun violence perpetrated in one of the most vulnerable of situations – a school. Now is the time to grieve and pastor the families in our community who are hurting and dismayed and searching for hope. Our churches in the surrounding area stand ready with pastoral care for anyone affected by this tragedy.”
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Dickinson, just north of Santa Fe, opened as a place of prayer and reflection following the shooting and will host a community-wide prayer service beginning at 6:30 p.m. local time.
The 17-year-old suspect, also a Santa Fe High School student, is in custody. The attack is the deadliest since the shooting deaths of 17 students at a Parkland, Florida, high school on Feb. 14. The February attack sparked a nationwide student movement against gun violence.
“Today we have experienced another event of deadly violence in a place to which we entrust our children for formation and safety,” Christ Church Cathedral Dean Barkley Thompson said in an email message. “‘How long?’ we ask. How long must we endure such events, and how often? Our excruciating lament is honest and inevitable… The answer to the lament, ‘How long?’ can be ‘No longer.’ God’s Spirit is with us, empowering us to stand for grace and peace in our world. May it be so.”