The bishops of central Texas have encouraged prayers for healing in a community reeling from a string of bombings over the last month.
Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio and Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin issued a joint statement on Tuesday urging prayers for the victims of the serial bombings as well as prayers for law enforcement officials.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families and friends of all those affected by the package explosions which have taken place this month in Austin and San Antonio,” said the bishops.
In recent weeks, two people were killed and half a dozen were injured in a series of explosions throughout Austin and in a FedEx distribution facility near San Antonio.
Suspected bomber Mark Anthony Conditt was confronted by police early on Wednesday morning, and drove off in a car before he detonated one of his own bombs, killing himself in the process, according to officials. His motive for the bombings remains unknown and police are continuing to investigate.
Police have warned that there may be additional bombs and have urged the public to remain watchful and alert.
In their message Tuesday, the bishops urged the community to remain strong, and to not be divided by fear. They voiced hope that prayer could serve as a uniting force in the face of terror.
“The randomness of these attacks and their increasing frequency are perhaps meant by their perpetrator to spread fear and cause division in our communities,” they said.
“However, as we have seen time and time again, tragedies such as these strengthen our bonds and bring our communities together in prayer and recognition of the sanctity and preciousness of life.”