Thursday, August 6, 2009

Priests on the Frontline

I just got back today in Rome and heard about the news of a shooting at a gym in Pittsburgh that left 3 people dead. Let us pray for the victims and their families. Along with this though was a bit of hope. Read below:

"Relatives and friends of those who'd been inside the fitness center eventually were directed to the Bower Hill Volunteer Fire Department on Vanadium Road in Scott to await word on the dead and wounded.

There, they were comforted by crisis counselors and priests from the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese -- the Revs. Kim Schreck, John Naugle and Joseph Freedy, who were sent to the fire hall by Bishop David Zubik.

Father Freedy had been one of the first to the gym after the shooting, Father Schreck said. Father Freedy, who had been passing by, ministered to panicked club members in the fitness center parking lot and also comforted some of the wounded before contacting the bishop.

Bishop Zubik then dispatched the three priests to the fire hall, and the bishop himself visited the wounded and their families at the three hospitals.

"We're here so we can help, perhaps, some with their spiritual needs," Father Schreck explained.

The priests listened to, counseled and prayed with more than a dozen people inside the fire hall "whether they were traumatized by the incident or here for a loved one," he said.

Asked what he told people in such situations, he said, "Evil is real. For whatever reason, this man acted in a horrible way, and we suffered because of it. Some people blame God, but He is here in us. The Lord is with us in our suffering."

Read more here.

The Lord is always there. In fact, He sent his own guys, his priests, to be present. Fr. Freedy just finished his studies here at the NAC. May we imitate these men of God.


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