ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Following the tragedy in Uvalde, members of Saint Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church organized a prayer vigil to lift up lost lives and loved ones left behind in the wake of the appalling shooting.
“They’re innocent. You pray… You think they’re safe at school,” Abilene grandmother Tina Najera said of the tragedy in Uvalde.
Najera, like many others, attended St. Vincent’s vigil to pray for the victims and families in Uvalde, unable to imagine the pain and heartache they must be going through.
“I explained to the boys that I was bringing them to pray for the children that were shot yesterday,” Najera said.
She came to the vigil with two of her grandsons, hoping to give them a positive way to process the events that happened to children no older than themselves.
“When I go to school, I feel like something’s not right when, since now, the shooting’s going on,” Najera’s grandson Avram Abioa said.
Taylor Elementary 4th grader, Avram said he feels more comfortable while praying and surrounded by family and community. Though the harsh reality he now faces, no less a burden to bear.
“You never know when a shooter- it could happen,” Avram said. “It could happen, like, any time or anywhere.”
Violence in the world has been a topic of discussion at St. Vincent’s for the past few months, following their own experiences with a recent stabbing.
“It’s getting bigger and bigger in our country,” Father Emilio Sosa, Priest at St. Vincent’s said. “So every time we have an opportunity to talk against violence, this is the right place.”
Najera said the thought that something so horrible could happen to such innocence is difficult to accept. The thought brought the grandmother to think on the depths of grief many friends and family members are shouldering.
“That morning I was at Taylor seeing him [Avram] receive awards. Then they said that these children had just received awards too and then the parents didn’t see them the rest of the day,” Najera said. “They were gone… I can’t imagine the pain of losing your children.”
The gravity of that loss weighs heavily on young minds like Avram’s, as they imagine how they might respond if it was them or their family in the same situation.
“If they got hurt or died I would just be very sad. And I bet my family would too,” Avram added.