The Catholic community was “deeply saddened by the tragic events,” said the archbishop.
“Our prayers and thoughts are with the deceased person and his family,” Etienne said. “Our prayers are also with everyone who was part of or witnessed today’s painful events.”
The archbishop connected the man’s death to the stresses of poverty, the coronavirus epidemic and despair.
“Events like this remind us of the stress and pain that unrelenting poverty can bring. Events like this remind us of the real suffering and frustration that coincide with untreated health conditions,” he said. “Events like this remind us of the desperation and hopelessness people feel before taking their own lives—a tragic trend that is exacerbated by the pressures of the COVID-19 epidemic.”
The archbishop prayed that everyone involved is “aware of and reminded of God’s profound love.”
“I ask the Holy Spirit to provide healing and comfort to our families and communities, especially those who are poor, fearful and vulnerable during these most challenging of times,” he added.
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The archbishop especially praised the employees of Catholic Community Services and Catholic Housing Services.
“We are called by Jesus to accompany the poor and care for them,” he said, saying this is what the employees do “every day.”
“They journey with the people they serve through very challenging difficulties—and they do so with the love and care of our Savior.”