SAN ANGELO, Texas – After a labor-day weekend of tragedy and loss, San Angelo went into immediate action to help their neighboring community overcome a mass shooting that left seven dead and over 20 injured.
“We immediately were able to ship over 60-units of blood to help our sister center in the Midland, Odessa area,” said Linda Grace, who is the Donor Recruitment Supervisor at Vitalant of San Angelo.
“We lean on one another when times are bad, and we help one another sort things out,” explained Bishop Michael Sis, who is the Bishop of San Angelo.
The Catholic Diocese of San Angelo covers 29 counties including Midland, Odessa. The Bishop of San Angelo was at a retreat in Rome when he heard about the shooting. He came back quickly to be with his community.
“Of the seven people that were murdered, four of those seven I know are Catholic people. No matter how far or close we are, these are our fellow human beings, who are suffering,” detailed Bishop Sis.
This week, Bishop Michael Sis will lead three masses dedicated to the shooting victims. They will take place in Odessa and in San Angelo. On Sunday, the Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Angelo will host the third mass at 10:00 in the morning.
“We’re asking for God’s gift of healing and peace in the hearts of anyone whose been affected. Whether that’s friends, relatives or just members of the community who want to come together and pray,” added Bishop Sis.
The Catholic Diocese isn’t the only group that’s making a difference. Vitalant is currently having a blood drive all week long. At first, it was organized for the El Paso shooting victims but now it will also be benefiting the Odessa and Midland victims.
“We want to make sure that we as a community, are not only taking care of our local patients and our local hospitals but we want to be able to help outside areas as well. Just as we helped Midland, Odessa and that’s really important,” stated Grace.
Through this devastating time, there is hope in knowing that our communities are staying West Texas strong.
“We’re here to honor those who’ve died, to pray for healing and peace and to dedicate ourselves to helping build a safer society,” elaborated Bishop Sis.