TOWSON, Md. - Music filled the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel at St. Joseph Medical Center where the archbishop of Baltimore, William Lori, welcomed the site of healing, love and compassion to reflect upon Friday's mass school shooting in his former southwestern Connecticut diocese where he spent 11 years.
"It's a community that I know well," said Lori, "It's a parish that I visited many times and I know many people there. I'm very fond of the community. So the news struck home very personally to me. These are people whom I know and whom I've served for many years."
The archbishop says he spent years working with Monsignor Robert Weiss of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, and he ordained two priests there, who have counseled families since the day of the shootings and now prepare to law some of their little ones to rest.
"At least six that I know of and, yes, there will be six funerals that I know of at Saint Rose of Lima parish between now and Saturday," said Lori, "What a tremendous burden and strain and sadness that is and yet at the same time, as we gather to pray, I think we draw strength and courage."
The archbishop left those gathered at the chapel with a message of prayer.
"...especially for those parents who lost their little ones, who suffer a grief like no other grief, for the heroic educators who gave their lives protecting their students and how earnestly we must pray also to end the culture of death, the culture of violence that is so much a part of our larger culture so that our young people, our little ones, will be safe."
Like public school systems across the country, Archbishop Lori says the Catholic schools are currently reviewing their safety plans and measures to help insure the well being of their students.