Bishop holds Mass calling for peace

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – There was another fatal shooting in the City of Rochester Saturday night. A man was killed on Lyell Avenue bringing this year’s homicide count up to 44 so far.

Sunday morning a Mass was held at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester calling for the end of violent gun crimes, and peace in our communities.

The 9th Bishop of Rochester says, we’re all going through a pandemic of violence. When one member of the community hurts, we all hurt.

"Every life is sacred. Every life is a gift from God," said Bishop Salvatore Matano.

The Mass at Sacred Heart took on a bit of a different meaning following a violent week here in the city. Bishop Matano is calling for peace.

"So many lives. So many innocent lives taken away through violence. We’ll never know what those lives would have ever accomplished for the glory of God, and the welfare of humanity," said Bishop Matano.

One of the lives cut short was the shooting death of Rochester Police Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz.

"Our brother Officer Anthony P. Mazurkiewicz gave his life to protect the lives of others. An unreasonable, irrational action has caused his death in the line of service," said Bishop Matano.

Members of the congregation offered up their own prayers for those effected by violent crimes in their community. Former Gates Police Chief Jim VanBrederode attended the service.

"This is also not his first Mass he has celebrated for peace in our community. He has led the Masses before when the homicide rate has gone exceptionally high like it has now," said VanBrederode.

Following the service, Bishop Matano shared one last message with us.

"This is a pain that effects all of us. This is a hurt that deeply scars who we are as a community. This is not how Rochester wants to be viewed as a place of constant violence. We want to be viewed as people who love, care for each other, and show concern for each other," said Bishop Matano.

Sacred Heart Cathedral joined all other parishes in the Diocese of Rochester, spreading the same messages with their parishioners.