A letter with a request for prayers and CARDS:
(Written by Fr Suarez' sister)
All of you, I am sure, have heard so much about the tragedy in Newtown, CT.
Many of you have received emails from me about my younger brother, Father Luke
Suarez, who is a priest at St. Rose of Lima parish, a Catholic church just down
the road from Sandy Hook Elementary. He, and his pastor, Monsignor Weiss,
arrived at the school within moments of the shooting, and have been caring for
the community ever since. The picture I have included was taken at the
Father Luke has an impossible task before him. His diocese is without a
bishop right now, and there is very little leadership and assistance from above.
Monsignor is older, went through a serious surgery recently, and is personally
devastated by the losses. The parish is very large, and parishioners tend to be
wealthy and somewhat ill-catechized. The rectory has received serious threats,
and as my brother gave the homily Sunday at the noon mass, the church had to be
evacuated by SWAT teams. After experiencing identity theft and online hacking
incidents, he had to erase all of his internet accounts. After a weekend of
endless media requests, notifications and vigils with heartbroken families, and
little sleep, he now has two wakes and two funerals every day, until the fourth
Sunday of Advent. Father Luke has not even been ordained two years.
My large family has been trying to send Father Luke our love and support
from afar, and one of my brothers was able to visit with him briefly a couple
times. All he asks for is prayer.
I have been wracking my brain, trying to think of a way that our beautiful,
loving community could tangibly reach out to Father Luke, Monsignor Weiss, and
the St. Rose parish, to support them in this most awful of times. I have sent
many prayer requests, and I am asking for more prayers again. But I also want
to ask everyone to search their hearts, and if the Holy Spirit moves you, please
consider sending one of your family's Christmas cards to the rectory, with a few
words of love and encouragement. Here is his address:
Father Luke Suarez
46 Church Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470
My brother has said over and over again that without the prayer support he
is receiving, he could not keep going. And this week is only the beginning.
Everyone there is still in shock. Their peaceful home has been desecrated by
violence. They will need to live with this sorrow forever.
But in our weakness is His strength. Grace abounds. Can you help me carry
him through this time of trial?
On a hopeful note, Father Luke did say that no media coverage has even
touched the deep, beautiful awakening of faith that has occurred there. Their
tiny church, where my children have received sacraments and where Luke was
ordained, has been full of people in prayer without ceasing since this tragedy
happened. Love is stronger than death.
Please feel free to share the address with your family, friends, and
community. An outpouring of love will sustain these good priests through their
impossible ministry--impossible on their own, but possible with God.
I am so grateful to live in this community. We are all so blessed with one
another. Every day, I see you all loving one another as Christ loved. Thank
you for letting me reach out to you now.
With humble appreciation,