To the editor:
On behalf of our community and parish, we extend our gratitude to each of you who remembered us in prayer following the events of December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
We quickly realized the universality of the Church by the outpouring of support and concern that was shown to us by so many in our faith communities. The cards and letters from staff and students in Catholic elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities reminded us of the faith to which we are called to witness through the tradition of Catholic education. No less important were the number of cards from parish religious education programs, especially the sacramental programs.
We were also contacted by many Catholic organizations and groups on both the local and national levels. The list of parishes, Catholic-based groups and dioceses who contacted us is an overwhelming one. We are also very appreciative of the number of donations sent to us to assist our parish in our continuing ministry to the community, to help pay the expenses of the victims’ funerals, to support counseling programs, to provide direct aid to the families and so on. Your generosity reminded us that we are not alone during this very sad and challenging time.
We also want to thank our brother priests, deacons and religious sisters and brothers for their letters of support and encouragement. Spiritual bouquets, Mass cards, hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and remembrances by many prayer groups have lifted our spirits knowing that our intentions are ever before the Lord. We also received a number of rosaries, prayer shawls, religious works of art, memorial vestments, reliquaries, books focusing on grief and healing, original and recorded religious CD’s and a variety of poems, spiritual reflections and meditations to help guide us in providing comfort and support.
While we tried to acknowledge every letter and gift sent to us, it became an overwhelming task, so please accept this letter as a thank you to every person who remembered us in prayer during the days immediately following the tragedy to these days of recovery and healing. We know that the road ahead of us will be a long one, but we are given great hope by the outpouring of generosity and love shown to us. We are truly blessed by your many acts of faith and kindness.
Please know that you continue to be in our prayers of gratitude for the goodness you have demonstrated to us in so many ways.
Msgr. Robert Weiss, pastor
Saint Rose of Lima Parish
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are setting aside some of our policies due to the unique circumstances of this letter. Msgr. Weiss is a former priest of the Diocese of Rochester, who joined the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., in 1982. He studied at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries in Rochester before being ordained in May 1973 at St. Christopher Parish in North Chili. After his ordination he served as assistant pastor at Corpus Christi Parish in Rochester and St. Mary Our Mother Parish in Horseheads before leaving Rochester.