HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) -Words of faith and hope are offered at Holyoke’s Our Lady of the Cross Parish. During a service marred by grief and anxiety, as the community, and entire country continue to grapple with the tragedy that unfolded Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. 20 students, all just 6 or 7 years old, and 6 adults, through acts of heroism, lost their lives. “My heart literally dropped. I was like, how could someone look at a kid and shoot them?” Holyoke High School student Kevin Rodgers asked.
For Our Lady of the Cross, Friday’s events add another layer of meaning. The church also includes the Mater Dolorosa Catholic School, which houses grades K-8. “The bottom line is we have a school of our own. What happens in one place could happen anywhere else,” said one of the church pastors, Father Alex Cymerman. He adds that they, too, have a drill in place. “That’s the first thing. That evening I got in contact with our principal and we do have the code white, I guess all the schools in the area have their own plans.”
Of course Mater Dolorosa will hold class tomorrow, as do many other schools. However some young parishioners say that Newtown, CT has taught them some new lessons about their own teachers. “I’m feeling thankful for my teachers now that I’m hearing about some of the heroic acts that they did. I’m very thankful,” shared Granby Junior Senior High School Student Michaela Sansouci. “Every day we send our kids to school, we put their lives in teachers hands and we take for granted to know that each one of those teachers is a hero,” Lisa Sansouci said.
Heroes that Newtown, and certainly the nation, cannot forget.
Our Lady of the Cross is sending a condolence book to Newtown, in it, parishioners have shared their thoughts and prayers.