As the details emerge in the coming weeks about the shooting that occurred at Fort Hood yesterday, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, for us Central Texans, our thoughts naturally turn to how we might be able to help the community. And as information is released to how the public may be able to help, let us remember that one of the best ways we can help those in Fort Hood and the surrounding communities is through prayer.
For me and many Central Texans, this tragedy hits close to home. Many of us know either people currently stationed at Fort Hood or have known soldiers stationed there in the past. Fort Hood is located halfway between Austin and Waco, about 60 miles from each city, so many of us have driven past the I-35 exit signs for Fort Hood. Plus, Fort Hood is in the boundaries of the Diocese of Austin and their St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Comanche Chapel) is part of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. Bordering Fort Hood is the city of Killeen’s parish, St. Joseph, and Copperas Cove’s parish, Holy Family, both wonderful parishes with soldiers in their communities.
Personally, one of my young cousins is currently stationed at Fort Hood as an MP (Military Police). It made the knowledge of an active shooter on site a little more concerning, because he would be one of those out searching for the shooter and not in shelter. I still haven’t heard the whole story of what he was doing, but a couple of hours into the incident he was able to text my aunt to let her know he was safe.
If and when information about assisting Fort Hood is available through the Diocese of Austin, I will update this post and list it below.
Our soldiers and their families should be able to feel safe on American soil. One shooting incident within five years is a horrible situation, but two within five years… we can’t imagine the emotions, the mental anguish and more those at Fort Hood and the surrounding communities are going through. So remember, please pray for the safety of our soldiers, at home and abroad. Servant of God, Fr. Emil Kapaun, pray for all soldiers, their families and for us!
Prayer for the Safety of Soldiers
from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Almighty and eternal God,
those who take refuge in you will be glad
and forever will shout for joy.
Protect these soldiers as they discharge their duties.
Protect them with the shield of your strength
and keep them safe from all evil and harm.
May the power of your love enable them to return home
in safety, that with all who love them,
they may ever praise you for your loving care.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
UPDATE: 7:23pm, April 3
Archbishop Broglio Issues Statement on Shootings at Fort Hood
WASHINGTON, D.C. — His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, issued the following statement on the tragic shootings yesterday at Fort Hood:
“Once again the people at Fort Hood are at the center of national attention and the focus of our prayers. On behalf of my Auxiliary Bishops, the priests, religious, and all of those who make up the archdiocesan family, I offer heartfelt condolences to the families that mourn the loss of a loved one. As believers we also pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and the assailant.
“The remedy for this senseless violence can only be found in a more profound respect for human life, a deeper concern for our neighbors, a willingness to listen rather than to shout, and a reduction in the glorification of violence by our society.
“I have been in touch with the Catholic priests who serve at Fort Hood to assure them of the solidarity and the prayerful support of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.”