Priest stabbed in confessional will not ‘live in fear’

.- A Florida priest who was stabbed in a confessional by a troubled woman on Saturday says he will neither “live in fear” nor allow the stabbing to prevent him from “God’s work.”

Fr. Michael Massaro had finished hearing confessions in Holy Cross Catholic Church in Vero Beach on Saturday when he was stabbed twice in the back. “I was in the confessional, putting my coat on, and felt a piercing sensation in my back left side," the priest told CNN. "I looked up and she was standing there, and I felt it again in my back. Then I realized I was stabbed and my hand was covered with blood."

"It was paralyzing, like a nightmare, and I just feel like I woke up from it. It was so quick and sudden.”

His accused attacker, 57-year-old Josephine Gatchell, had previously been arrested for damaging a religious statue at the church. After the attack, she stared at him, but said nothing.

"As I was running away from her, I realized who she was," Fr. Massaro said. "She didn't make any efforts to come after me. I was still in a state of shock."

He fled to his car and drove himself to the hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair the damage. His “T”-shaped wounds required 14 staples.

According to CNN, a Vero Beach police arrest affidavit reported the knife went though muscle, a few veins and chipped a rib. Its blade missed vital organs by two to three centimeters.

Vero Beach Police spokesman John Morrison said Gatchell believed Fr. Massaro was the Antichrist.

An arrest affidavit says Gatchell told detectives she remembered stabbing Fr. Massaro with “a big knife.” Police said Gatchell appears to be a troubled woman.

She is being held without bail in the Indian River County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned on June 12.

Fr. Massaro told CNN the attack would not stop him from hearing confessions.

"We're at the mercy of the people we serve," Massaro said. "We can't live in fear. God has asked us to live in trust. If it's going to happen again, it's going to happen again, but that's not going to prevent me from doing God's work."

CNA contacted the parish for further comment and was told Fr. Massaro was recuperating and did not want to give any further statements.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: