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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

‘Unthinkable pain, raw emotion’ remain a year after Vegas shooting, says bishop

This last year “has been a time of unthinkable pain and raw emotion for the Las Vegas community and for families devastated” by the mass shooting of 1st October 2017, Bishop George L. Thomas said at an interfaith prayer service at Guardian Angel Cathedral, in Winchester, Nevada.

“But it has also been a time when Las Vegas has revealed the best the human family has to offer – the resilience of the human spirit in the face of incalculable odds,” said the bishop, who heads the Diocese of Las Vegas.

He delivered the remarks during an evening service on 30th September where he was joined by a dozen leaders of other faiths. Described by many as an emotional gathering, it came on the eve of the first anniversary of the worst shooting in US history, which left 58 people dead and 527 others injured.

From his room on a top floor of a high-rise hotel, the shooter, later identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, rained bullets down on a crowd gathered below for an outdoor country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

As a refrain through his remarks, Bishop Thomas used lyrics from a song written in 1971 by Barry and Robin Gibb: “How can you mend a broken heart?” The words, he said, helped “to capture the struggles and challenges we are facing as a Las Vegas community.”

Picture: A girl looks at a makeshift memorial for victims of the mass shooting along the Las Vegas Strip. (CNS photo/Steve Marcus, Las Vegas Sun via Reuters).