MEXICO CITY -- Two young men arriving for a Mass to be celebrated before a quinceanera in Mexico's Veracruz state were shot dead as they entered the parish parking lot. It was the latest atrocity in a steady string of mass slayings, which have highlighted a surge in the country's already shockingly high homicide rate.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis expressed his closeness to and prayers for the victims of a shooting at a Catholic Church in Burkina Faso, which claimed the lives of six people.

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SAO PAOLO – A gunman opened fire inside a Brazilian church, killing four people and injuring four others before turning the gun on himself, police said.
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Few events in recent Canadian history have had a greater impact than the massacre at École Polytechnique in Montreal. The gunman, Marc Lepine, killed 14 women and injured 14 others in the Dec. 6, 1989 attack before killing himself. His suicide note revealed his hatred of feminists. In the wake of the tragedy, there were changes to gun laws and the creation of an annual national day of remembrance on Dec. 6 to recognize violence against women. Five days following the attack, a funeral Mass for nine of the women was held at Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica, as reported in The Register:

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HIGH RIDGE, Mo. – Music played a big part in a Mass of remembrance for Jamie Schmidt Nov. 20 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in High Ridge, which was fitting because it had played a big part in her contribution as a soprano in the parish choir and because words of the songs were consoling.
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CHICAGO – A gunman opened fire at a Chicago Catholic hospital Nov. 19, setting off a frantic scene that ended with three victims killed and the assailant dead, police said.
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In a fine interview following the recent synagogue killings in Pittsburgh, Ottawa’s Rabbi Reuven Bulka offered wisdom that went far beyond the specific act of terrible bloodshed. 

Published in Register Columnists
LOS ANGELES – After a shooting spree late Nov. 7 at a country-music bar in Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles from the heart of Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles asked people to "pray hard" for the victims and their families.
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WASHINGTON  – The U.S. Catholic bishops stand with "our brothers and sisters of the Jewish community," the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Oct. 27 after a horrific shooting earlier that day in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life Synagogue, described as a hub of Jewish life in that city.
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MIAMI – Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski urged community members to come together "to support one another in this time of grief" after a shooting rampage Feb. 14 at a Broward County high school left at least 17 people dead.

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METAIRIE, La. – More than 150 people attended a prayer service at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Metairie June 14 to pray for the recovery of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, and other victims of a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, early that morning.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Federal authorities are investigating a shooting that resulted in injuries for Catholic congressman and Republican Steve Scalise and others when a gunman opened fire on him and others during a June 14 practice for an annual congressional baseball game.

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FRESNO, Calif. – After three men were killed April 18 in a shooting rampage in Fresno by a gunman who was captured and admitted to the shootings, the Diocese of Fresno urged the local Catholic community to "seize this moment as an opportunity to live as people of light not darkness by rejecting the temptation to hate the hater."

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Within hours after a shooting at an event that originated as a religious feast, a brigade of about 125 young Catholic evangelizers launched a "To the Streets With Christ" campaign Jan. 21, making their presence heard throughout the packed streets of Old San Juan.

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ATLANTA – Olga Woltering, a bedrock member of her parish and the Atlanta Cursillo movement and beloved to her family and many friends, was among five people killed in the Jan. 6 shooting at a Florida airport.

Published in International
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