A Church, a Gathering Place for Generations, Becomes a Hub for Uvalde’s Grief

By Rick Rojas, The New York Times, 1 June 2022
Crosses dedicated to the victims of the school shooting are seen at a memorial outside the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 26, 2022. Image: Jinitzail Hernandez / Shutterstock.com


UVALDE, Texas — As word of the staggering death toll spread through Uvalde on Tuesday, the parishioners of Sacred Heart Catholic Church rushed, almost reflexively, to be together. Within an hour, they had filled the sanctuary for an impromptu Mass.

For generations, the parish has been central to the lives of many in Uvalde, a city of 15,000 people an hour west of San Antonio. Now, Sacred Heart has become a nucleus for a community’s grieving.

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio said that Sacred Heart was meant to be a gathering place not only for practicing Catholics, especially now. He pointed out a passage from the Gospel of Matthew: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

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Rick Rojas is a national correspondent covering the American South. He has been a staff reporter for The Times since 2014. @RaR


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