Area religious leaders belonging to diverse religions and denominations are holding candlelight vigil and offering prayers for May 24 Texas elementary school mass-shooting victims at Saint Catherine of Siena Episcopal Church in Reno on Sunday morning.
According to reports, nineteen students and two teachers died and many injured in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde (Texas) by this mass-shooting. It is the third-deadliest US school shooting, after the Virginia Tech shooting (2007) and the Sandy Hook Elementary School (2012) shooting; and came days after the Buffalo (New York) supermarket shooting.
To be organized by Saint Catherine of Siena Episcopal Church Rector Father Thomas W. Blake and distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed; besides candlelight vigil, it will include prayers by Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, Native-American, etc., religious leaders.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Reno today, said: We, the religious leaders in northwestern Nevada, are deeply saddened by this horrific tragedy. Our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones and the entire Uvalde community. Targeting innocent children and their teachers at an elementary school is abhorrent.
Urging for interfaith unity, Zed stated: We, as people of faith, despite our seriously different belief systems, must take a stand against violence and hatred by coming together with kindness and love. This is our moral and ethical obligation to make sure that violence should have no place in civil society and all our children receive education fearlessly in schools.
Father Blake, whose church is hosting the event, added: It was a senseless and shocking act of violence. We condemn any and all acts of violence against innocent people. Our heartfelt prayers and sympathies go out to the victims, their families and friends. We are praying to God to provide the mourning families and others touched by this tragedy the help and consolation in dealing with this at the difficult time. This unbelievably tragic and horrible crime should be universally condemned.
This multi-faith candlelight vigil and prayer service will be held at Saint Catherine of Siena Episcopal Church, 10435 Double R Boulevard, Reno 89521; starting at 10:30 am on Sunday, May 29. All are welcome. Coffee and refreshments will be available. Service will be livestreamed also.