Santa Fe Community Turns to God in Wake of Shooting

Sunday services in Santa Fe, Texas were all about healing and hope after yet another school shooting left 10 people dead in their town.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who also serves as President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said last Friday’s shooting at Santa Fe High School added their community to the “ever-growing list” of people whose lives have been impacted by the evil of gun violence.

After extending condolences to all those who lost loved ones, Cardinal DiNardo added: “Sadly, I must yet again point out the obvious brokenness in our culture and society, such that children who went to school this morning to learn and teachers who went to inspire them will not come home. We as a nation must, here and now, say definitively: no more death! Our Lord is the Lord of life. May He be with us in our sorrow and show us how to honor the precious gift of life and live in peace.”

According to, Texas Governor Greg Abbott attended Arcadia First Baptist Church to offer his condolences to the victims’ families.

The governor offered his support while Pastor Jerald Watkins offered prayer.

“It’s times like this when all of us realize how fragile our lives really are,” Pastor Watkins said.

After the service, the Governor went to the school and laid a wreath on the growing pile of flowers, messages and stuffed animals that were filling up the front lawn.

“We come here today with hearts that are aching, knowing that there are parents today without children,” he said. is reporting on a massive turnout to a funeral prayer service held yesterday at a local mosque to honor the memory of 17-year-old Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani student who was gunned down at the school.

“This is a tragedy that has touched every heart, every soul throughout this land and Pakistan,” said Aisha Farooqui, consul general of the Pakistani consulate in Houston.

“Each and every day, many people are being born, and each and every day many people die,” Imam Taquir Shaikh said at Sabireen mosque. “God says — almighty Allah — this is to test us to see who among us has the best conduct.”

Meanwhile, the gunman, who has been identified as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, is being held on capital murder charges and could face the death penalty.

“We are as shocked and confused as anyone else by these events,” his family said in a statement. “What we have learned from media reports seems incompatible with the boy we love.”

They added: “We are gratified by the public comments made by other Santa Fe High School students that show Dimitri as we know him: a smart, quiet, sweet boy.”

Pagourtzis, who used his father’s gun in the incident, is believed to have acted alone.

The New York Times cited an affidavit written by one investigator as saying the suspect had confessed and said he spared “students he did like so he could have his story told.”

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