Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City will celebrate Mass April 17 across the street from a memorial commemorating the 1995 terror attack that killed nearly 170 people.
“These were our family members, our friends, co-workers and neighbors. We are grateful for their lives and we will never forget their sacrifice,” Coakley said April 16.
The anniversary of the bombings— which remain the deadliest domestic terror attack in American history— this year falls on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19.
Coakley will celebrate Mass at the city’s downtown Saint Joseph Old Cathedral, with a livestream available.
“When we experience darkness and loss, Jesus shelters us and gives us hope,” Coakley continued.
“He accompanies us as we forge our path forward toward healing and peace. During Poland’s dark days preceding the Second World War, Jesus promised Saint Faustina that his Divine Mercy would never abandon those who trust in him. He promised this gift especially at the hour of death for those who turn to him.”
Several co-conspirators detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, injuring more than 800 and killing 168— including 19 children who were in a daycare in the building and three unborn children in their mother’s wombs.
“The evil that visited our city 25 years ago sought to strike fear in our hearts and destroy our way of life. But we are a resilient community, a people of faith, who overcame evil with goodness,” Coakley said.
“We refuse to be conquered by hatred. We remain grateful for the first responders and all those who rushed in to assist us that day and in the months following. We are grateful for the faith that has sustained us and the generosity of so many who have supported us...We pray that our city will continue to be a beacon of hope, healing and reconciliation for all people.”