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Oh my gosh! This is horrible! Praying for them and their families.
From where I am looking, mithriluna, it’s starting to look a little repetitive. Two retired sisters here were attacked recently outside a church as they were arriving for early morning Mass. One later died due to her injuries.
And this poor priest in California who was attacked and died in January this year.
Dear Lord, protect your priests and religious and all your faithful.
Last month, a young missionary priest in Alberta, Canada, was shot dead when he opened the door of his rectory to a man who repeatedly fired into his chest. And there was the Jesuit martyr priest killed in Syria by a masked gunman in April. It’s so difficult to understand what this all means.
Thank you for alerting us to this alarming news GC!
Fr. Walker – two years a holy priest, and only 28 years old! This is a real tragedy and a very great loss for his family, his community, and indeed the whole Church.
As you and JH point out, it is evident that there is a steady increase in cases of murder and violence perpetrated on members of the Catholic Church – especially upon the clergy who stand out so much as witnesses of Christ – by a growing hatred of all that is holy and good by the forces of evil in the world.
Not only that, kathleen, but when it comes to presbyteries and churches, anyone may loiter or approach without arousing suspicion. Well, they’re churches and presbyteries, aren’t they, meant to welcome the poor and afflicted according to Our Lord’s command. No surprise there should be the odd miscreant among them. But at great risk to our sons and daughters in ordained or consecrated life when these types appear suddenly in the churchyard or at the doorstep.
I also read that when two priests were quite recently accosted and robbed by armed assailants in the drive-in area of a church in Florida, they were also subjected to abusive suggestions that they were sexual offenders without any dignity or rights simply because they were priests.
This is not to mention the priests and religious who go off to posts in mission lands and are assaulted, abducted or murdered.
Yes, thanks GC for pointing this out. These increasing violence and hate-related crimes towards our priests and religious, whose whole lives are dedicated to leading souls to Heaven, is deeply disturbing and distressing for us all.
But what can we do? Nothing… (although the murderers and perpetrators of such crimes should most certainly be brought to justice.) No matter what the threat, the Church will always be there, in the front line of battle against the forces of Evil in the world, upholding God’s Love, Truth and Goodness – just like She always has been, from the earliest days of persecution and countless martyrdoms. “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church” (Tertullian).
One more prayer for these priests, their families and their parish
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I didn’t realize it when I first read the Rorate Caeli link posted above by GC, but the young priest, Fr Kenneth Walker, shot and killed two weeks ago, was an alumnus (is an alumnus is more accurate) of a Catholic college I support here in Ontario; but I clued in when I got a letter from them today conveying the sad news.
After reading the letter, I went online and found the photo of Fr Kenneth linked above, which was a bit (but just a wee bit) startling to me because of his passing resemblance to a friend of mine of approximately the same age, who was ordained a priest in our diocese in May of this year. For me, making that connection was a passing of the torch moment, full of symbolic meaning, which I shall concentrate my mind upon this Friday,the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and World Day of Prayer for Priests.
On a side note, I sent my friend, Fr Walter (note the similarity of his and Fr Walker’s names) a link to The Liturgy Guy “Open Letter to New Priests”, which some kind soul (Michael, I think, but can’t remember for sure) gave us in early June; and Fr W’s reply to me was: “A lot of good stuff in that article for reflection” – so keep up the good work everybody, because we’re helping to advance God’s kingdom in our own small way.
For any Canadians reading this, can I humbly request that you consider an in memoriam donation to the late Fr Walker’s alma mater Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, 18 Karol Wojtyla Square, Barry’s Bay ON K0J 1B0, especially because OLSWA is firmly part of the Church Militant.
What a poignant and interesting comment JH ! No better day to reflect the profound meaning of your “discovery”, and the tragedy underlying it, than such a feast day as the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus next Friday. May we all join you in praying for our priests… and to God for vocations, to send us more holy priests like this fine young priest, Fr. Walker, whose life was so suddenly and violently snatched away.