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Prayer in the Street for Victims of Violence

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By Leland Campbell

When we watch the evening news, we are saddened by the violence in our community. We may reflect momentarily, and maybe we say a prayer for that person who was killed, but that is usually as far as it goes. Going to the spot where the victim took their last breath puts a different perspective on the event. Sometimes there are candles, flowers, crucifix, and other personal items placed in the area where the victim died.

The Diocese of San Jose Street Victims Ministry began in November of 2019. This ministry began to remember those who have been murdered on the streets in our Diocese and have not been publicly prayed for. Volunteers come to the spot where the victim was murdered and pray for the victim, their family, and those who are involved with these crimes.

On August 14th, we held a service for Guadalupe Delgado. His friends were there telling stories of what a wonderful man he was. Thoughtful, helpful, and generous were some of the words they used to describe him. He and several of his neighbors had lived there for over 30 years and had never experienced anything like this in their neighborhood.

One of Guadalupe’s good friends described what had happened that night. A man pulled up in a truck, looked at the group, and asked him, “what do you claim?” Guadalupe said, “I claim to be a Pisa” short for Pisano. The man pointed a gun at him and shot him. He fired a couple of rounds in his direction, and one hit the speed limit sign, which left a visual reminder to those in their neighborhood of the violence that occurred there. Another one hit Guadalupe, killing him.

We are living in difficult times, and these acts of violence are a reminder to us that we do not know the hour or day. We must be vigilant and remember those who have lost their lives. In some instances, the victim has no one to pray for them. That is why this ministry exists.

Anyone who would like to attend can check the calendar of the Diocese of San Jose website to find the location and time of the next service. All are welcomed to pray.  We hope you will be able to attend. May God move you to pray for these people who have lost their lives in our own back yard, in our own neighborhoods.