Prayer in Oakland, San Jose for Newtown Families

As is happening around the country, people are praying for the residents of Newtown, Conn., where a gunman last week killed 20 first-graders, six school administrators, his mother and himself.

The act by Adam Lanza has been so unspeakable that people from coast to coast have been holding vigils and doing kind things for each other, trying to erase the horror, to ease the pain.

That happened in Oakland on Wednesday, too, where several hundred people gathered before noon at the Cathedral of Christ Light to pray for the victims and families of the school shooting in Newtown.

Vicki Hurd of Oakland was among them. She said she felt that she had to do something, and strongly believes prayer will help the victims.

"Being together with people who are trying to do the same thing in the sense of prayer helps us and will help them," she said.

Archbishop Alex Brunett tried to offer solace to the parishioners, too. "We've gathered to remember lives cut short by an act of hate and violence...and to put things into perspective."

He also gave the people something positive to think about.

If  one of the young victims were here, Brunett said, they'd likely say, "I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one."

The Oakland prayer gathering is just one of many held in the Bay Area since Friday's shooting in Connecticut, where funerals have been taking place since Monday for the children and school administrators killed during what is considered the nation's second worst school shooting.

On Wednesday evening, vigils were expected to be held in Fairfield at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple at 5 p.m., and in San Jose, at the Sikh gurdwara at 6:30 p.m. at 3636 Murillo Ave.

On Tuesday night there were vigils in Pleasanton and Albany. On Monday, one was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Burglingame.

In addition to prayer, monetary donations are also being collected. Checks can be made out Sandy Hook School Support Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank 39 Main St., Newtown, CT, 06470.


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