Dear Members and Friends of St. Augustine,
Sunday morning our hearts were broken as many of us prepared for worship and we learned of the horrible news of the Orlando massacre. In the course of the morning, the news just got worse.We join many people around the world in mourning the lives lost at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. As followers of Jesus, we remember the victims and pray comfort for their families.
On Sunday, June 19th at the 8:30 and 10:45 services we will remember those who have lost their lives as well as their families. We pray that the deep wounds that have been created due to social and religious differences will be healed by the soothing salve of love. We further commit ourselves to the hard work of reconciliation among all people even those who differ from us. As we strive for insight and understanding may we be endowed with the grace to forgive and the insight not to blame.
I commend to you the following prayer composed for the tragedy.
Compassionate God and Father of all, we are horrified at violence in so many parts of the world. It seems that none are safe, and some are terrified. Hold back the hands that kill and maim; turn around the hearts that hate. Grant instead your strong spirit of peace- peace that passes our understanding but changes lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. Joseph C. Alsay+