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Palmerton church to pray for school shooting victims

Published December 19. 2012 05:02PM

A Palmerton church will be the sight for a prayer/vigil service in honor of the victims and their families of the Connecticut school shooting.

The interfaith service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, and will include a number of clergy such as Pastor Jody Neifert, of St. John's Towamensing Lutheran Church, Father William Campion, of Sacred Heart, Pastor Paul Schoffstall, of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and pastors Father Michael Quinnan, and Father Sean Carpenter, both of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Brodheadsville, as well as several others.

"We're hoping that it will be a vigil of both loss and hope," Neifert said. "A lot of it is going to focus on our culture, and the fact that we all need to take personal responsibility for the way we live our lives."

Neifert added he doesn't believe "any enactment of laws is going to make any difference, unless we start with ourselves."

"We need to start changing our values," he said. "What we need to do is develop our hearts a little bit better, and the love that we share for each other needs to be more profound."

As part of the service, Neifert said there will be a lighting of 29 candles, 26 of which are for the victims.

"Because we're Christians, there will be one for the shooter; one for the mother of the shooter, and one for the loss that every child has of their innocence," he said. "Much more than those 26 deaths happened."

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