Local parishioners respond to Sri Lanka attack in solidarity

By  | 

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) From the Vatican to Vermont, the global Christian community is mourning the loss of their brothers and sisters. WCAX News spoke with local Christians who say they'll be moving forward with their faith in mind.

"Shock, dismay, sadness," said Kevin McLean of New Jersey.

"We need to pray for them, to support them," said Jules Wetchi, the president of the French Catholic Community of Burlington.

Local parishioners responded Sunday to the deadly violence in solidarity.

"The Christian community, the Christian faith has undergone many, many trials and tribulations and certainly will be able to sustain itself through this sort of thing," said McLean.

And with a commitment to uphold the values and beliefs of their faith on a holy day that embraces the power of hope.

"Resurrection, it's like three words, the life, the death and eternal life. I hope they can rise with Christ and have eternal life," said Wetchi.

"I would hope that we don't react with anger and hatred. I would hope that we would react never be part of anything that fosters this kind of prejudice, this kind of evil, this kind of action," said Bishop Christopher Coyne of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

Actions that come just one week after another devastating blow to Christians around the world-- a catastrophic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral. But church leaders say the tragedies only make the community stronger.

"The strength of our community is not only in our profession of faith but in our works of faith. Here in Vermont and everywhere else in the world, Catholic Christians do good works," Coyne said.

"People working together, working outside their normal boundaries, outside their communities, outside their countries to help alleviate the struggles of others," said McLean.

In the wake of the attacks, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered state police to increase patrols at churches and houses of worship. So far, there have been no reports of related violence in our region.