ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CNS) — Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrated Mass and led a eucharistic procession at St. Mary Church in Alexandria June 18 to “bring Jesus, the source of our peace and unity, into the streets” recently touched by violence.
The Mass was celebrated on the feast of Corpus Christi, just days after a shooting at an Alexandria ballpark in which Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, and others were injured while practicing for a charity baseball game.
In his homily, the bishop said that the seven-block procession from St. Mary’s Church to St. Mary’s Cemetery was a witness to the world that “we do not walk through this life alone.” He reminded parishioners that unity depends on recognizing the dignity of each and every person by listening to others, discussing points of disagreement in a civil manner and letting go of bitterness.
The bishop urged elected officials to take the lead in working for that unity.
“Today, with the faithful in the Diocese of Arlington and all people of goodwill, I respectfully make a plea to all our elected officials to reflect the unity for which we long,” Bishop Burbidge said. “We need you to work together for the common good; to uphold truth, peace and justice; to find common ground; to be respectful of each other even in the midst of debate; and to let go of harsh words and severe rhetoric.
“We also hope and pray that all in the media will do the same,” he continued. “Imagine how different the world and our nation would be if our motto was the words of St. Paul: ‘Let us make our aim to work for peace and to strengthen one another.'”
As of early June 19, Scalise remained in serious condition at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Over the June 17-18 weekend, he was upgraded from serious condition. He has undergone several surgeries since he took a bullet to the hip early in the morning of June 14 while at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Doctors said the bullet fractured bones, injured internal organs and caused severe bleeding.
Four others also were injured in the shooting spree which came as GOP members of the House practiced baseball for a June 16 charity game against Democrats. The other victims included two Capitol police officers who were on Scalise’s protective detail, a congressional staffer and a lobbyist. The gunman, now identified as James Hodgkinson, was shot by police and died of his wounds.
Stachyra Lopez is social media coordinator for the Arlington Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Arlington.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103