Bishop Gregory Calls For Prayers
For the Victims of the Fatal Shootings
In Newtown, Connecticut

JOHNSTOWN, PA [Diocesan Chancery] - His Grace, Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, upon learning of the horrific tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, where 26 people, most of whom were children, lost their lives during a mass shooting, has called upon the faithful of the Diocese to offer up fervent prayers for the many families and people affected by this catastrophe and the repose of the souls of the innocent victims.

Upon returning to the Diocesan Chancery this evening from the White House Conference on Orthodox Christian Engagement in Washington, DC,  Bishop Gregory has issued the following statement:

I am shocked and greatly pained at this senseless loss of life. At this special time of the approaching Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I am reminded of King Herod's heinous act of murdering the 14,000 infants (the holy innocents) in his attempt to destroy the Christ Child. In Matthew 2:17-18 we read, "Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet saying: A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." I strongly encourage all adults to hug their children, grandchildren, and Godchildren and tell them how much they love them today and every day.

The Diocesan Chancery has learned that while there are faithful of the diocesan parishes in Connecticut that live and attend schools in Newtown, it appears at this time, by the Mercy of God, that all are safe.

May our Merciful Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ grant comfort, peace and healing to the grieving family and community members, and rest eternal and blessed repose to the souls of the holy innocents and the heroic teachers and staff members and establish them in Paradise where there is neither sickness, sorrow or suffering but Life Everlasting. May Their Memory Be Eternal!.