In the aftermath of one of the worst shooting massacres in U.S. history, Las Vegas residents turned to their
faith communities to help them deal with the pain and horror. And for many, that meant the two parishes run by Viatorians, home to nearly 9,000 families.
At St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, led by Fr. Dan Nolan, CSV, pastor, the parish lit 59 candles and tolled the church bells 59 times to symbolize each person who tragically lost their life in the shooting.
“The prayer service was beautiful,” says Amanda Dwyer, a parishioner and staff member. “The music, the words of comfort and of love, gave the community strength and pulled us together through prayer.”
Meantime, over at St. Viator Catholic Community, led by Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, pastor and located just three miles from the Las Vegas strip, its parish young people put together a Taizé prayer service that same evening.
“The quiet reflective music was soothing as people slowly made their way to a cross that was placed in the front of the church,” says Br. Rob Robertson, CSV. “People knelt down and offered private prayers as the musicians chanted, ‘Oh, Lord, hear our prayer.’ “
He added that it was especially moving to see a couple come forward still wearing their wristbands from the fateful concert, who were still obviously in shock from what they had witnessed.
“Through it all, we are praying,” Br. Rob adds. “We are praying for a world where light will overcome darkness. That is what our Lord promises us — and we cannot give in to the evil that visits us here and wherever it occurs.”