A priest was fatally shot at a Catholic church and another was left critically injured, police in Phoenix said early Thursday.
Officers discovered the two victims when they responded to reports of a burglary around 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday at the Mother of Mercy Mission in Phoenix’s downtown district.
Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos told NBC News said that officers arriving on the scene found a 56-year-old priest critically injured.
That priest – who had called police to report a burglary – was transported to an area hospital where he remained in critical condition, Martos added. It is unclear what caused that priest’s injuries.
Officers also located a 26-year-old priest suffering from a gunshot wound; that priest later died at a local hospital, Martos said.
He added that both priests were found in a living area attached to the church.
“We don’t have information on suspect or suspects, we don’t have motive,” Martos told NBC News. “Obviously our second victim is in critical condition… We hope he’ll pull through and be able to provide further information.”
Prayers, please, for all concerned.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…
UPDATE: From Rorate Caeli…
Fr. Kenneth Walker, FSSP was born in Upstate New York near Poughkeepsie, the middle of 11 children (6 boys and 5 girls). His family moved frequently when he was young.
While his father was working construction in Wilmington, N.C, the family decided to build, with their own hands, a log cabin on some land they owned in nearby Tennessee. Their intention was to sell the home, but they changed their minds and moved in.
While living there, they visited a used bookstore and found a book called The Incredible Catholic Mass. It described the Tridentine Mass, which they had never seen nor heard. The book was considered worthless and the storeowner gave it to them for free.
The family was intrigued. The more they learned about the Traditional Mass, the more they wanted it in their daily lives. On his own initiative, Fr. Walker began learning Latin. The family decided to sell their log cabin and move to rural Pennsylvania near Scranton where the Traditional Mass was offered. Fr. Walker eventually became an altar server at the FSSP Apostolate, and after attending Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom Academy in Ontario, entered the seminary.
He was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in 2012.