By Laura Schemmel, Outreach
“I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you.” -2 Kings 20:5
It was Sunday night, the end of a warm summer day. Activities were winding down after a weekend of festivities. The band was playing its last set. The vendors were pausing for a moment to breathe before packing everything up. The children were smiling and laughing as adults relished in the moment of escape. On Monday, there was a makeshift memorial for the Gilroy Garlic Festival, #Gilroy STRONG. Lives were forever altered after a gunman opened fire. There were 16 people shot, including 3 young people who died, and thousands of lives throughout the community were joined by a tragedy.
This tragedy has touched the hearts of us all in the Bay Area and beyond. Senseless harm invoked by one individual will deeply change the lives of so many for years to come. This community of people, different races and religions, bands together through the same value on human life. It is at the core of our humanity that we show compassion and offer hope. The first responders, along with many individuals’ quick response in the face of danger, saved the lives of many others.
As Christians, we strive to rely on our faith that God will heal us. Faith is a gift from God. (Romans12:3) God changes us, molds us, strengthens us, and builds us through hardship. And there is nothing like the experience of being comforted by God alone in that dark hour. God chose to walk among us and share healing love. God also places people to walk with us on our path. We post our thanks and prayers on Facebook. We read the details in the newspaper or hear it on the television. We share with our friends, family and co-workers. We give financially. We attempt to grieve as one.
Catholic Cemeteries walks with the community in this time of tragedy. We ask to receive God’s grace and spirit of peace that surpasses all understanding. There are many grief support groups available that can be places of comfort and understanding we do not walk alone on this journey and that journey is different for each one of us. For more information, call (650) 549-6056 .
Parish Bereavement Ministers’ Training FALL 2019 – Bridging the Gap with Hispanic Communities*
Six Thursday evenings: September 19, 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24; 7-9 p.m.
One make-up session on November 7.
Queen of Apostles – Geary Hall, 4911 Moorpark. Ave., San José.
Facilitator: Candee Lucas, Kathy Fanger – Outreach Team.
Cost: $100. per person (fee returned upon completion of all six sessions (or make up session). This in-depth training and enrichment series is for parish staff, clergy and volunteers. Two or more individuals from your parish are encouraged to attend. RSVP by September 14, call (650) 428-3730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. *Course materials provided in English and Spanish.
SOLACE – Soul + Grief
Monthly Drop-in Grief Support Group
August 28, 7-9 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month)
O’Connor Hospital Chapel, 2105 Forest Ave., San José.
Facilitator: Candee Lucas, M.A. Pastoral Ministries.
No RSVP necessary. Free. Sponsored by Catholic Cemeteries and O’Connor Hospital.