WASHINGTON — Prayers for unity and peace were made following an early morning shooting on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia’s Del Ray neighborhood last Wednesday.
The shooting left the gunman dead and seriously injured others, including a Tyson Foods lobbyist and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. His condition continues to improve.
On Sunday night, a mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in Alexandria included special prayers with the shooting victims in mind.
An Arlington Diocese spokesperson told WTOP this year’s feast of Corpus Christi Mass and Procession was already set. But the shooting prompted Bishop Michael Burbidge to offer special prayers for unity and peace ahead of the seven-block procession down South Royal Street to St. Mary Cemetery.
“No matter what our faith denomination may be or even if we do not belong to a certain denomination, we all know within our hearts is that innate ability and gift to be able to love,” he told WTOP after the procession returned to the church.
Even among prayers for unity, he says the process getting there isn’t always a breeze.
“Sometimes, when people fiercely disagree with us or falsely label us or judge us, it brings hurt, it brings pain. We’re human. That’s only natural,” he said.
“But if we allow that bitterness or that resentment to control us, what happens? We lose. So the only answer to that is to forgive,” he added.