July 21, 2012
Bishop Conley to pray for victims of theater massacre
Denver Auxiliary Bishop James Conley will lead an invocation at a prayer vigil July 22 for victims, their families and the community devastated by the Century Aurora 16 Theater massacre, which claimed lives and wounded dozens.
The prayer vigil will be held 6:30 p.m. July 22 at the Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway in Aurora. Those who attend are asked to gather on the westside steps of the building.
In a joint statement, Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila and Bishop Conley said they are shocked and saddened by the tragedy.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to those impacted by this evil act,” they said in the statement. “We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters cast into that darkness. They do not stand alone. As Catholic bishops, we ‘weep with those who weep.’”
The early-morning rampage July 20 ranks among the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. It began about 12:30 a.m. inside a dark theater, which was packed for the first showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” A gunman entered the front of the theater and set off what witnesses describe as tear gas or a smoke bomb before opening fire into the crowd. Police have arrested 24-year-old James Holmes as a suspect in the shooting.
In response to the tragedy, Archbishop Aquila offered a Mass that evening at Queen of Peace Church in Aurora. The Denver Archdiocese is offering counseling for survivors and victim’s family members at 720-377-1398 and spiritual direction from a priest at 303-715-3197.