Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, whose flock includes the faithful at Virginia Tech University, issued a short statement Monday morning lamenting the tragic shootings which left at least 32 dead and dozens of others injured yesterday.
“The unexpected killings on the campus of Virginia Tech are most distressing and our hearts go out to the parents and family members whose sons and daughters were killed or injured,” the Richmond Bishop said.
The bishop, who celebrated his 65th birthday on Sunday, said he learned of the tragedy while he attended a birthday celebration with Diocesan staff members. “It really hit home with me,” he said, when he learned that two women present at his party had children who were students at Virginia Tech.
One member of the Catholic Schools Office had not yet heard of what had happened when she arrived, the bishop said. After urgently trying to reach her daughter by phone she learned that, “fortunately her daughter was okay and so were the two sons of another guest at the lunch.”
"At this time I cannot help but think of the endless years of commitment of love and care these parents have invested in their children and then to have it all cut down by a bullet is tremendously sad,” the prelate said.
"Our sympathy and prayers go out to them and their extended family and friends,” DiLorenzo concluded.
Steve Neill, who edits Richmond’s “The Catholic Virginian,” told CNA that Bishop DiLorenzo will be in Blacksburg and on the campus of Virginia Tech this weekend to offer Mass and help minister to those grieving.