Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez joined thousands of young people in praying for the victims of the mass shooting in El Paso hours after a gunman killed at least 20 people in a Walmart.
At the beginning of the Saturday night vigil Mass at the annual City of Saints youth rally held on the UCLA campus, Archbishop Gomez asked participants to pray for peace and offered the Mass intention for the victims of the shootings in El Paso and in Gilroy, California, where a gunman killed 3 people and injured 12 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28.
Just hours later, at least nine people were killed and at least 27 injured early Sunday morning in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.
On Sunday, Archbishop Gomez released a special prayer for peace in light of the three shootings:
Prayer for Peace after Mass Shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Sadly this week we have seen mass shootings in three cities in our country — Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
With the whole family of God here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I am praying for the victims of this violence.
We pray for the innocent victims in these attacks, we ask that God stay close to their families and loved ones.
We pray for the wounded to be healed, and we ask that God give strength and guidance to the doctors and nurses treating them.
We ask that God grant wisdom and prudence to law enforcement and public officials working to make sense of the violence and keep our communities safe.
And we pray for peace. Peace in our violent world. Peace in the hearts of those who hate and those who are troubled.
We pray for peace in the hearts of those who are afraid and hurting, peace for those whose faith has been shaken.
And we pray, finally, for peace in our own hearts. We pray that we might feel God’s love and know that he will deliver us from every evil.
We ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to intercede for us, to be a mother to us in this hour of pain and uncertainty.
May she help us to care for those who are suffering and to be healers and peacemakers in our world.
It is hard to understand this random and senseless violence. But Jesus calls us to trust in God, and he calls us to overcome evil with good, and hatred with love. And we know that his love is stronger than death.