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1/9/2013 10:17:00 AM
Shooting victims honored at retirement community
Mary's Woods photo
Display at Mary's Woods honors victims of December shootings.
Mary's Woods photo
Display at Mary's Woods honors victims of December shootings.

MARYLHURST — In the wake of shootings in Oregon, Connecticut and New York, residents of Mary's Woods retirement community were at a spiritual and emotional loss, with the rest of the country.

"I've talked to more people who cry thinking about it," says Mary George-Whittle, director of pastoral services at Mary's Woods, on the location of the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Names.

George-Whittle says people with a lot of life experience tend to have deep compassion for children and families.

"People felt helpless," she explained. "They asked me, 'What could we do?'"

So George-Whittle and her team created a day of prayer for the Dec. 28 Feast of Holy Innocents. At the front of the large chapel, historic place of prayer of the Sisters of the Holy Names, 35 votive candles were lit amid memorials of those who died at the shopping mall, elementary school and at the house fire set by a gunman.

Behind a table filled with crosses, and a Star of David for a Jewish first grader slain in Connecticut, the Nativity scene glowed.

The prayer was offered as a step in healing and resolve to make the world better, George-Whittle says.

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