Guam – Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron celebrated a special Mass of Peace and Healing at the Hagatna Cathedral Sunday morning for the victims and survivors of this past Tuesday’s rampage in Tumon which claimed the lives of 3 people and injured 11 others.
Governor Eddie Calvo and the First Lady, Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, the Japanese Consul-General to Guam, Hisatsugu Shimizu, island lawmakers and members of the Guam’s tourism industry along with others, both island residents and Japanese visitors, attended.
In his remarks, the Archbishop said “We in the Catholic community …and in the larger community … express our condolences to those who have lost their loved ones … in this Tumon tragedy.”
“We generally are not a violent community,” said the Archbishop, but “sometimes violence occurs, its part of our nature as human beings, part of our nature as fallen humanity,” he said.
“We gather here on this first Sunday of Lent, which is a time for the Catholic Church to reflect, and walk in the ways of the passion, and the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
“We offer our prayers of support, especially for the families grieving, and we pray that the community will recover from this kind of a tragedy, with a firm purpose of trying to make everyone feel welcome and wanted, and also that we live in a peaceful community.”
A second collection was taken during the Mass which will be given to the 2/12 Memorial Fund.
And the Archbishop asked all Catholic parishes on Guam to include prayer intentions during all their Masses this week for all the persons killed or injured in the attacks.
A few hundred people attended the Mass, although a number of pews were unfilled. Japanese and local media covered the Mass from the rear balcony within the Cathedral.
[Mass of Peace and Healing, Hagatna Cathedral, Sunday February 17]