DATE: April 18, 2017
RE: Recent Gang Violence
FROM: Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre
During Holy Week we all learned of the deaths of four young men when their bodies were found in a wooded area in Central Islip by law enforcement. Reports are these young men died as a result of gang violence. These senseless deaths are the latest examples of what has become a horrific plague of violence against innocent human life across Long Island and most recently, the communities of Brentwood and East Islip.
We, the 1.6 million Catholics on Long Island stand in solidarity and prayerful support with the Tigre, Llivicurra, Banegas and Villalobos families who are now grieving. The Catholic Church of the Diocese of Rockville Centre stands with you as we express our belief in the dignity of each and every human person and the sanctity of every human live and every family. Today, we pray for these families who have lost loved ones to the culture of death expressed in gang violence.
This Easter season, we implore Father, Son and Holy Spirit to bring the comfort and healing of the risen Lord to the families and communities torn apart by this inexplicable violence. We pray that our parish communities – the Parish of St. Joseph the Worker here in East Patchogue, the Parish of Saint John of God, in Central Islip along with the 131 other parishes of this diocese continue to be places of comfort, healing and hope for those beset by all forms of violence.