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Mercyhurst holds prayer vigil for Orlando victims

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Christ the King Chapel

In remembrance of the many victims of last weekend’s tragedy in Orlando, including recent high school graduate Akyra Murray who was to attend Mercyhurst North East in the fall, Mercyhurst University will hold a prayer vigil on its Erie campus Thursday, June 16.

The vigil will be held in Christ the King Chapel at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

“We want everyone to gather with us as we remember the victims, especially Akyra Murray, and pray for peace and healing,” said Mercyhurst Campus Ministry Director Greg Baker.

Monsignor David Rubino will preside at the service.

For more information, contact Baker at; 814-824-2301.

Yesterday, meanwhile, President Michael Victor sent a message to the university community, in which he stated:

“The American Flag flies at half-mast this week on both Mercyhurst University campuses as we grieve the senseless massacre this past weekend in Orlando.  We reaffirm and boldly proclaim our belief that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, abilities, gender or sexual orientation, are precious in God’s eyes and deserving of a full and happy life.  Our prayers are directed to all victims and their loved ones, though we pray in a particular way for victim Akyra Murray and her family.  Akyra, an 18 year-old recent graduate of West Catholic Preparatory School in Philadelphia and a basketball standout who was known for her kindness toward everyone, had signed her letter of intent to enroll at our North East campus this fall.  I share this prayer, written by Sister Lisa Mary McCartney and Greg Baker, with you today as we reach deep into God’s merciful heart for the strength, peace, and compassion for which our world is crying out.”


O God of tender mercies, when Jesus was lifted up from the earth, you drew every wounded heart to yourself. This weekend’s terrorist attack has again wounded so many people in Orlando and shaken the confidence of our country. Such violent hatred again makes us admit our need for your compassion and loving mercy. Fears and doubts invade our mind and heart. Our lack of love for others makes us suspicious and afraid. Yet each day you send your gift of healing that we need so much. Today we cling to our faith as we pray for each person who died or was wounded, physically and emotionally, in the massacre. We pray for their loved ones who painfully grieve. We pray for those who minister to and protect the people of Orlando, our country, and our world. We remember the gifts you give to us in earthly loves, in the quiet of creation, in our faith in the resurrection. And so, we pray to you who are mercy and compassion for our hearts. Help us to be instruments of your justice and peace. Amen.