Father Luke Suarez and Father Robert Weiss of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown, CT

Patheos posted this plea a few days ago.
In the spirit of Christmas I thought it was worth posting.
The following comes from the priest’s sister:

My friends,

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…. Monsignor … is personally devastated by the losses. The parish is very large…. 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.

Hat Tip Bruce

 

 

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  1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have sent out prayer requests to friends and family. God’s love and strength will see them through this very heartbreaking time. It is so hard to lose a child and to lose that child in such a horrific manner compounds the devastation of that loss.

  2. We have been praying for these families but now we will be praying for this Priest Suarez that God continue to carry Him through this. God tells us He is afflicted in all of our afflictions I know God is bringing good out of this tragedy as only He can!

  3. 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.

    The kind of people that would do this sort of thing are truly despicable.

  4. I will include the good priests in my prayers.Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Wow. . .only two years ordained and he’s dealing with this disaster. Talk about getting thrown into the deep end!

    Prayers ascending. . .

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  6. Praying for Father Luke Suarez.

    Dear Lord, in the name of Jesus, please help this young priest cope with the tasks he has ahead of him and give him the strength he needs to guide his community through this awful time.

    Thank You.

    Amen.

  7. “Father Luke Suarez and Father Robert Weiss.

    And, Jesus Christ said to them mentioned above: And call no man your father upon the earth

    Jesus was speaking directly to them. He was speaking to the religious leaders called white washed pharisees. The white washed pharisees were….”For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

    5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

    6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    Ahhhh, yes perfect description of the “priests and fathers”. They enlarge the borders of their garments (dress in black, or white or red to be noticed) and they do this to be noticed of men.

    And, to that we say. YE ARE THEY WHICH JUSTIFY YOURSELVES AMONG MEN BUT GOD KNOWETH YOUR HEARTS FOR THAT WHICH IS HIGHLY ESTEEMABLE AMONG MEN IS AN ABOMINATION IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.

  8. Jim,

    Thank you for posting this. We will be saying special prayers tonight at our candle light service.

  9. I cannot conceive of a mind that would do such terrible things at this horrific time. This priest is trying to help the families of the victims and to try to bring them some kind of peace. Where do these people come from who can harass people in their sorrow? What point are they trying to make with these actions? They are truly evil. It is as if they are trying to punish this good priest for doing the right thing. These people have to be sociopaths who have no sympathy or compassion for their fellow man. My prayers go out to the families and this good priest. May they all survive this terrible tragedy.

  10. Though the Catholic church has taken a lot hits recently, note the following:

    “He, and his pastor, Monsignor Weiss, arrived at the school within moments of the shooting[.]”

    Catholics last rites must be administered at the time of dying. Priests must therefore be present at the place where the person is about to die or has died. Priests climb down to people trapped under collapsed buildings, and Catholic chaplains in the military have the highest casualty rate, because they must administer to soldiers in combat. They’re very brave men.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Joseph_T._O%27Callahan_gives_last_rites_to_an_injured_crewman_aboard_USS_Franklin_%28CV-13%29,_19_March_1945.jpg

  11. I understand evil, but why is this church and priests receiving such hate?

    Hate for the shooter…okay.
    Hate for gun owners…okay.
    But hate for those that give comfort? What a world.

  12. i remember the amish school massacre a few years past…they knocked down the school as a community and rebuilt it, they met with and consoled the family of the murderer. they helped all of the victims families and not a peep out of any of them complaining about their self sacrifice or asking for outside help. our communities are filled with hateful people attempting to thwart the good work of the few who would sacrifice to help others in their time of need…

  13. Looks like a tough enough guy, you got my prayers anyway. May God give you the strength to continue to deal with the realities of such an evil tragedy as you comfort your parish. May the light of Christmas provide warmth to the sorrowful hearts and souls.

    Merry Christmas.





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