Thursday, December 20, 2012

Requests for Priests at Newtown, Conn.

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 school.

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,



Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Hi Shelley from long way-aways I send my love to all concerned.
.. but I send my prayer to our heavenly Father who is even nearer to all who call upon Him in truth, and the name of the sweet Lord Jesus. I pray for those suffering ones who have lost so very much which they hold dear - no-one can imagine the depth of their grief but the Lord God knows, understands and cares!
These atrocities were enacted by men and men's hearts have conceived them..
God made us all with free will and so very sadly some choose to do such horrible acts.
To think that there are death threats on those trying to help these poor folk is inconceivable, to sane thinking,
God bless, and praying for all these dear ones,
Shaz in oz.x

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this posting! It is wonderful to be able to feel like you could actually help out in some way!

Thanks for the address and I will find something to send that way. HUGS AND BLESSINGS

NanaConnie said...

A wonderful plea, Shelly, and I'm so glad you posted it. Obviously, my prayers go out to all in Newtown, and now I'll be sending cards. TFS this opportunity.

Darlene said...

Thank you for sharing this post Shelly. Our own Pastor was ordained at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, which also serves the Newtown area. Prayers for all of the townspeople, the first responders, the medical and police personnel, the religious leaders and the list goes on. They will need much love and support to pick up the pieces of their lives and go on.