June 16, 2016
In the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, the worst mass shooting in the United States occurred in Florida. Orlando, a diverse city that sees millions of visitors from around the state, country and world each year, has been the target of unthinkable and reprehensible violence. The murdered and injured, their families, and indeed our entire nation are victims of this tragedy.
As priests, deacons and staff of Catholic Charities served their fellow man at the City of Orlando's Aid Center, Bishop John G. Noonan, of the Diocese of Orlando, expressed the need to rely on God in such trying times. "A sword has pierced the heart of our city...I urge people of faith to turn their hearts and souls to the great physician, our Lord Jesus Christ, who consoles and carries us through suffering with mercy and tenderness." On the evening of Monday, June 13, Bishop Noonan led an ecumenical prayer vigil for peace at St. James Cathedral in downtown Orlando.
offering prayers for the victims, their families and our entire nation, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, President of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged our world to condemn the violent acts of a perpetrator blinded by hate, "Even as we mourn those who died in Orlando and even as news of violence and terrorism bombard us daily, we can never allow ourselves to get used to violence and the shedding of innocent blood."