SAN BERNARDINO—Bishop Gerald Barnes joined San Bernardino civic and faith leaders at a candlelight vigil at San Manuel Baseball Stadium the night after the Inland Regional Center attack. The following are his remarks:
I would like to thank the mayor for bringing us together.
I would also like to thank law enforcement and first responders for putting their own lives in harm’s way to protect us.
All of us are affected by this tragedy; San Bernardino, Redlands, all of us who call the Inland Empire our home.
We know that this tragedy also has touched our neighboring cities, our State and Nation and all the world and we appreciate the prayerful support we have received from so many. And to them we give our deepest gratitude and ask that they continue to remember us in their prayers.
We all carry the loss that some of our families and friends have experienced. And we pray for our beloved dead. May they rest in peace. We pray for healing for all those injured physically and emotionally.
We identify with them and we identify with all those who are angry and fearful; we are one with those who are worried and sad; we embrace those who are traumatized at this senseless act of violence and murder.
Their tears are our tears, too. And we must cry.
We pray that with all those who journey with us through this pain and loss will lead us to seek, to find ways to make sense of the Gospel in the midst of this tragedy as we seek to provide support and comfort to one another.
We pray for God’s wisdom and courage as we step out in faith. For we are a people of faith and no one will rob that from us. We will take this challenge to build something constructive that puts an end to violence and hatred. We will not succumb to do otherwise. We believe that love is greater than hate; courage greater than fear, unity greater than separation.
And with our faith we turn to our God and pray:
Almighty Eternal God, Source of all compassion
The promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope even in the midst of our sorrow.
Hear the cries of all affected by hatred; bring healing to those suffering from violence, and comfort to those mourning their dead.
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms, and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.
O God of hope and Father of mercy,
Your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs…
Inspire your people throughout the world with compassion… and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus the Christ, the Prince of Peace and Light of the World, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.