El Paso Bishop Reflects on Weekend Violence

The nation is reeling from mass shootings over the weekend in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, and the questions are yet again circling round in our minds. Why do these horrific things happen? What can we do to help? What if I find myself in the middle of an active shooter situation? No one has all the answers, but our Relevant Radio® show teams are having important conversations to keep you informed and help keep you safe.

El Paso bishop shares his perspective

A crowded mall was sent into chaos on August 3 as a gunman entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing twenty-two people and wounding dozens more. The Most Rev. Mark Seitz is the Bishop of El Paso; he visited the hospital on Saturday where many of the injured were taken and also helped lead an interfaith prayer service on Sunday near the scene of the shooting.

Bishop Seitz shared the stories on Morning Air® of some people he met in the hospital in the wake of the horrific shooting. “One of the people brought there died shortly after she arrived. She was [twenty-five] years old. Her name was Jordan; she was there with her husband and her … baby. It just still hurts to tell the story myself even though I wasn’t there. But I had the opportunity to bless her, to pray for her after she died.”

After Jordan died, Bishop Seitz was taken to the Children’s Hospital to see her two-month-old baby boy, who had sustained small injuries that are believed to be from the mother shielding him from the gunfire. “We can certainly presume that she died protecting her child,” explained the bishop. When he met Jordan’s family, they still didn’t know the fate of her husband. It was later confirmed that he had also been killed, leaving their child orphaned.

In the aftermath of crimes as horrific as this, how can we comfort the wounded, the grieving, and those who are suffering? “One thing that I’ve learned through my years as a priest is that one has to be very slow to try and give answers. The most important thing that we can do is to be there with them. Be there with them in their musings and their questions and their pain. To walk with them and to be a person who, by our example, shows them that while we might not have an easy answer, we do know that God grieves with them. … Really though, it’s not a time for preaching. It’s time to be with them and look for the opportunities that they want to pray.”

Hear more from Bishop Seitz:

Read part 2 of this series, Staying Safe in an Active Shooter Situation from The Patrick Madrid Show.

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.