Last week’s attack in San Bernardino County made it clear that victims of gun violence or other assaults need help.

“There is fear, especially for the security of their children, but there’s also unity and a willingness to move forward,” Marciano Avilla, director of the Office of Restorative Justice Ministry in the San Bernardino Diocese, said of the community’s reaction.

According to Avilla, many Catholics in the diocese knew some of those who died during the attack.

“One of the victims, Damian Meins, was the husband of a director of one of our Catholic schools in Rancho Cucamonga.”

Recently, San Bernardino Bishop Gerald R. Barnes spoke with chancery workers, who shared their feelings about the tragedy. He also presided over a ceremony at the Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, where he asked those in the congregation to be united in prayer for those who lost their lives and their families. He also prayed for the injured.

“Let us come together now in unity to bring light to the darkness of this day,” he said in a statement.

Special Masses have been celebrated in the diocese. As far as help for grief and shock, Avilla said they’re organizing support groups for those “affected by the attack and who need to talk about the tragedy to heal,” which will meet for five weeks.

Facilitators will oversee the groups and, Avilla said, they expect parishes will welcome these groups.

The Diocese of San Bernardino already has a program called “El Camino,” which consists of support groups that meet for 10 weeks and help families who have lost a relative to homicide.

“We also can refer victims of crime and their families to other places to receive emotional support,” Avilla said.

For more information, call the Office of Restorative Justice Ministiry at (909) 475-5472.

The following also provide assistance for victims and their families:

> Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office: (800) 492-5944 or (626) 927-2500.

> Victim-Witness Assistance Program: (213) 978-2097

> CSU Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center: (562) 491-7977

> Downtown Women’s Center: (213) 680-0600

> HOPICS: (323) 432-4399, ext. 210

> Office of Victims and Survivors: (877) 256-6877

> California Victim Compensation Program: (800) 777-9229.