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US bishop saddened by uni massacre

BLACKSBURG, Virginia (CNS): A shooting spree at a university in the United States on April 16 that left at least 33 people dead is “tremendously sad”, said Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia.

Bishop DiLorenzo said his heart goes out to the parents and family members of the dead students at Virginia Tech.

“At this time one cannot help but think of the endless years of commitment, of love and care these parents have invested in their children and then have it all cut down by a bullet is tremendously sad,” he said.

“The tragedy really hit home with me,” he said, because he learned of it at a chancery lunch that included two women who have children studying at Virginia Tech. He said that fortunately their children were not harmed.

In a phone interview just hours after the shootings, Teresa Volante, the Catholic campus minister at Virginia Tech, said she had sent out an electronic notice that the Newman Centre chapel was open for anyone who wanted to stop in and pray.

“I’m here for students to talk to,” she said.

At St Mary’s Parish, the only Catholic parish in Blacksburg, Virginia, the receptionist said last Tuesday that the pastor, Fr James Arsenault, had spent more than three hours at the hospital with those who were wounded before heading over to the university to help there.

The gunman attacked a classroom in an engineering building, shooting more than 40 people before he was killed.

The April 16 shooting was the deadliest on-campus attack in US history.

(Copyright Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.)

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