Healing & Hope
by Mary Knapke
This article was originally published in This Good Work. Read the entire publication here.
Just over one year ago, on Aug. 4, 2019, 10 people (including the perpetrator) were killed in a mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District. On Aug. 4 this year, the Missionaries of the Precious Blood and Archdiocese of Cincinnati commemorated the tragedy with a Mass of healing and hope at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
Sister Linda Pleiman attended the Mass. “As Sisters of the Precious Blood, we are called to be a life-giving, reconciling presence in our fractured world. The mass shooting in the Oregon District certainly created a fracture within our local community — by being here today, we can show with our presence and our prayers that we support those families who lost a loved one that day. And we also keep in mind all the families that lose loved ones to gun violence throughout the year,” she said.
Precious Blood Sister Jean René Hoying said, “Living a few blocks from the Oregon District, I’ve been reminded many times this past year of the August 4th tragedy. The Mass of healing was an opportunity for me to be in solidarity with all those who suffered the loss of loved ones.”
“I’m grateful to those who organized and took part in the Mass,” said Colleen Kammer, the Congregation’s director of peace, justice and ecology. “Acts of violence harm our human family in ways we may not totally understand. Obvious is the physical loss, such as that experienced by one of our employees who suffered the death of her niece, Lois Oglesby, that day. Our Gospel call to solidarity is the gift of healing to one another that comforts and builds resiliency, community and hope.”
Ten candles were lit at the church for those killed, and were left burning throughout the week “as we lift their memory to the Lord. We pray for their families and friends, and for our community, that we may experience God’s healing love and the grace of the Holy Spirit,” presider Father Angelo Anthony, C.PP.S., said during Mass.
Sisters who reside at Salem Heights, our central house in Dayton, were not able to attend in person, as they continue to shelter in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A livestream of the Mass was made available online for those who could not attend in person.