Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has asked all 256 parishes in the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia to honor a day of mourning Dec. 21 in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School Dec. 14.
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy called for the day of mourning, and will observe a moment of silence followed by ringing of church bells in his state.
Catholic churches throughout the Philadelphia region will ring their bells 26 times beginning at 9:30 a.m., representing one toll in honor of each life taken in last week’s tragedy.
“The pain of loss is excruciating, Archbishop Chaput wrote in his column on CatholicPhilly.com earlier this week. “Words of comfort all sound empty. The victims in the Sandy Hook massacre were even younger and more numerous than those at Columbine, and if such intense sorrow could be measured, the suffering of the Connecticut family members left behind might easily be worse. With such young lives cut so short, every parental memory of an absent child will be precious — compounded by a hunger for more time and more memories that will never happen. This is why we need to keep the grieving families so urgently in our hearts and prayers.”