Va. mass remembers shooting at congressional ballgame practice with special prayers

(WTOP/Liz Anderson)
Parishioners and visitors gathered for the feast of Corpus Christi Mass and Procession at St. Mary Catholic Church in Alexandria. Special prayers were offered for Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who was seriously hurt in a shooting at a park in the Del Ray neighborhood. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
(WTOP/Liz Anderson)
The procession began outside St. Mary Catholic Church down South Royal Street for seven blocks to St. Mary’s cemetery. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
(WTOP/Liz Anderson)
The procession began outside St. Mary Catholic Church down South Royal Street for seven blocks to St. Mary’s cemetery. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
(WTOP/Liz Anderson)
The procession began outside St. Mary Catholic Church down South Royal Street for seven blocks to St. Mary’s cemetery. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
(WTOP/Liz Anderson)
The procession began outside St. Mary Catholic Church down South Royal Street for seven blocks to St. Mary’s cemetery. (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
(WTOP/Liz Anderson)
In his written homily, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge prayed for all injured in last week’s shooting and their families. He also prayed that elected officials and the media would let go of “harsh words and severe rhetoric.” (WTOP/Liz Anderson)
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(WTOP/Liz Anderson)

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.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.


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