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Local Catholic churches hold prayer vigil for victims of Buffalo mass shooting

Local churches prayer vigil for Buffalo mass shooting victims
Posted at 10:09 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 23:17:55-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Three local Catholic churches remembered the lives lost during the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Laguna Woods, California.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton, Holy Family in Virginia Beach, St. Therese in Chesapeake and Basilica of St. Mary’s in Norfolk held prayer vigils Monday, calling for an end to violence and racism.

According to online postings, the alleged Buffalo shooter, Payton Gendron, wanted America to be a white-dominated, Christian nation.

"I think white people really do need to get angry - and not just when something like this happens. This ought to wake us up," Jim Curran, the pastor of the Basilica of St. Mary’s, tells News 3 reporter Leondra Head.

Pastor Curran says his goal is to spread love and unity.

"He was doing this in the name of white Christians. In the name of white Christians, 10 people were slaughtered. White Christians need to stand up and say, 'Absolutely not. This will not stand,'" Curran said.

Community members say enough is enough.

"Unfortunately, it’s too much hate in the country. It’s clearly for a matter of not understanding," Eric Labat, a church member, said.

"It doesn’t just affect the Black community; it affects all of us. As a white man that’s a Christian, if that doesn’t motivate me to do something and be afraid for our community and what we represent," another church member said.

Related: Effects of mass shooting in NY felt across the country including Hampton Roads