A Chance to Do a Work of Mercy for a Suffering Priest

My friends,

All of you, I am sure, have heard so much about the tragedy in Newtown, CT. Many of you have received emails from me about my younger brother, Father Luke Suarez, who is a priest at St. Rose of Lima parish, a Catholic church just down the road from Sandy Hook Elementary. He, and his pastor, Monsignor Weiss, arrived at the school within moments of the shooting, and have been caring for the community ever since. The picture I have included was taken at the school.

Father Luke has an impossible task before him. His diocese is without a bishop right now…. Monsignor … is personally devastated by the losses. The parish is very large…. The rectory has received serious threats, and as my brother gave the homily Sunday at the noon mass, the church had to be evacuated by SWAT teams. After experiencing identity theft and online hacking incidents, he had to erase all of his internet accounts. After a weekend of endless media requests, notifications and vigils with heartbroken families, and little sleep, he now has two wakes and two funerals every day, until the fourth Sunday of Advent. Father Luke has not even been ordained two years.

My large family has been trying to send Father Luke our love and support from afar, and one of my brothers was able to visit with him briefly a couple times. All he asks for is prayer.
I have been wracking my brain, trying to think of a way that our beautiful, loving community could tangibly reach out to Father Luke, Monsignor Weiss, and the St. Rose parish, to support them in this most awful of times. I have sent many prayer requests, and I am asking for more prayers again. But I also want to ask everyone to search their hearts, and if the Holy Spirit moves you, please consider sending one of your family’s Christmas cards to the rectory, with a few words of love and encouragement. Here is his address:

Father Luke Suarez
46 Church Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470

My brother has said over and over again that without the prayer support he is receiving, he could not keep going. And this week is only the beginning. Everyone there is still in shock. Their peaceful home has been desecrated by violence. They will need to live with this sorrow forever.

But in our weakness is His strength. Grace abounds. Can you help me carry him through this time of trial?”

H/t Thomas Crowe, who adds:

“…I was in seminary for one year with Father Luke Suarez, parochial vicar at St. Rose of Lima parish in Newtown, Connecticut. He is one of the gentlest and most generous souls I’ve known. As I remarked on Facebook when I saw the below picture, I had never seen him without a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye until this picture…”

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    I promise a holy hour of prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament especially for the priests of Saint Rose of Lima parish and for all those in the Newtown, CT area.

  • Michaelus

    Thanks for posting this Mark. That parish is the largest church in Newtown and it is the place where most people have gone for solace. The diocese also has set up a way to donate to help out the parish if anyone is interested:

    https://www.bridgeportdiocese.com/index.php/SandyHook/

  • Courtney Dawson

    My Cousin, Dagny Syverson, went to school with Father Luke and sings his praise. Port Neches, Texas is praying for the light of Jesus to twinkle strongly in him for others to see through this darkness. May he continue to offer the well for all to quench their thirst for peace at Saint Rose. Christ be with you.

  • Courtney Dawson

    My Cousin, Dagny Syverson, went to school with Father Luke and sings his praise. Port Neches, Texas is praying for the light of Jesus to twinkle strongly in him for others to see in this darkness. May he continue to offer the well to quench the thirst for peace at Saint Rose. Christ be with you.

  • Heather Price

    I sent a card to them earlier this week, and I plan to offer a Rosary and Chaplet for both priests every day this week.
    St. John Vianney, pray for us.

  • freddy

    Sending a card with our family’s spiritual bouquets. Also sent this to our parish e-mail list.

  • adelle

    Surely, I will do the request you’ve made: Praying for Fr. Suarez, the community and send a card to him. This is how can we become a Church, in a tangible way by supporting. It is a good idea to reach out the larger Church through the video posted in FB since almost all people are using FB. Love can bring healing if all will take time to care and to show it as a tangible way to show that God cares and loves.God bless and prayerfully connecting with the members of the community and Fr. Suarez..

  • http://Facebook MARY MCCARTHY

    MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO YOU, FATHER SUAREZ, AND I SHALL OFFER MY WEEKLY HOUR OF ADORATION FOR THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS @THE ADORATION CHAPEL IN OUR LOCAL PARISH OF ST MARY ON THE HILL CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AUGUSTA, GA.
    GOD WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND WE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR YOU DAILY.
    MARY MCCARTHY
    AUGUSTA, GA.

  • Marcus

    May I ask why hacking attempts have been made against him?

    -marcus

  • Medjugorje Fan

    The FB posters you describe are so dreadful that I half suspect you are making them up to prove a larger point. Are there really people out there who would criticize a 27-year-old homicide victim whose bravery and quick thinking saved the lives of a room full of children? If so, then maybe we Catholics deserve some of the bad press we’ve been getting. We are part of the problem. All of us.
    I’ve spent a lot of time at the Eucharistic adoration chapel this week, praying for our country and trying to work out my own conflicted emotions. It’s been heartening to see an uptick in the number of people at the chapel this week. It looks like a lot of people are bring their grief and confusion to God.
    I don’t have all the answers, but I think that, instead of trolling the Web and yelling at each other, maybe we all need to spend a little more time being still and listening to the Lord.
    OK, now feel free to yell at me.

  • Medjugorje Fan

    I’m so sorry. My previous comment was in reference to your post, Musings About Prolife Christian Reactions to the Sandyhook Tragedy. It has nothing to do with the post about the Fr. Suarez. I’m sorry to confuse the issue.

  • Lucy

    I will pray for his strength and I’m so glad you enclosed his address so that I can send a card. It’s too devastating for words.

  • Johnvisentin

    Father suarez, my prayers are with you and all the families. I have time to help you. I m able to help. I have the capacity and time to help in whatever way possible. Please email me and let me know what you need.

    John

  • Michelle Therese

    I’ve sent Fr. Luke a Christmas card and I’ve forwarded his address to our local monastery of monks here in Scotland.

  • Dan

    Prayers and letters to your brother will be coming from Lafayette, Louisiana. Peace on earth and goodwill towards all men. Love will prevail –your brother is an instrument of His love.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2012/12/a-chance-to-do-a-work-of-mercy-for-a-suffering-priest.html Catherine

    Prayers from Virginia

  • Victoire

    I thought about sending him a letter. But now I’m afraid it’s not good enough and too insolent (I ask him if he can pray for children and women in hard conditions because I think he must have powerful prayers – which I don’t think I have – it’s genuine but could be seen as insolent I think…). I’m going to see if I have the courage to wrote another one.


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