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D.C.’s French-speaking faithful offer prayers for Paris

Shock and sadness over the attacks in Paris are being felt worldwide. Local parishioners offer their prayers.

WASHINGTON — The French-speaking faithful in D.C. are praying for the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks.

“We don’t understand such violence. It hurts us all so,” said the Rev. Jean-Marie Vincent, pastor of Saint Louis de France, a parish house staffed by the diocese of Paris to serve the French-speaking in D.C.

On Sunday, the parish will host a special prayer vigil at 5 p.m. Saint Louis de-France is located at 4125 Garrison St. Northwest. The parish serves 600 families from a Victorian-style house, where the French Tricolour is draped at the doorway.

Vincent said the special prayer vigil will include psalms, music and intercessions. “Not to be inflamed with anger,” Vincent said, “but to recall our faith and our relationship to the Lord.”

The Catholic cardinal of Paris, Andre Vingt-Trois, has asked French parishes to mark two funeral days this weekend at all regular masses to remember the dead. Vincent will deliver a message from the cardinal at regularly scheduled masses and a moment of silence will follow the Homily.

Word of the attacks hit hard Father Vincent, who is a Paris diocesan priest.

“War is raging all over the place on this planet, but when it hits home you realize it’s awful,” Vincent said.

The parish is also planning a requiem mass on Friday, Nov. 20, exactly one week following the attacks.

Shock and sadness over the attacks in Paris are being felt worldwide and touch many people including members of a tiny French-speaking, Haitian-American church that worships in Rockville.

“We’d like to send our condolences to the people of Paris,” said Dr. Rodney Charitable from the pulpit of Havre de Grace Seventh-dy Adventist.

In the borrowed space of the Rockville United Methodist Church, Charitable raised his arms and prayed for the victims. The small group of congregants, including families, elders and small children, gathered in a circle and held hands.

“Sometimes things happen, we don’t know why it happened, but you know why,” Charitable said during a prayer. “Bless them. Encourage them.”

Grace Charitable, the minister’s wife, said that French-speaking Haitians feel the pain of the attacks in Paris.

“We feel hurt. We feel this is our people. We feel this is our family who got hurt,” Grace Charitable said.

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