USCCB president calls for prayer after pair of school shootings

Students attend a prayer vigil Jan. 23 at a church in Marion, Ky., after a 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun that day at Marshall County High School. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayers for the victims killed and injured in a pair of school shootings in Kentucky and Italy High School in Texas Jan. 22. (CNS photo/Harrison McClary, Reuters)Students attend a prayer vigil Jan. 23 at a church in Marion, Ky., after a 15-year-old boy opened fire with a handgun that day at Marshall County High School. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayers for the victims killed and injured in a pair of school shootings in Kentucky and Italy High School in Texas Jan. 22. (CNS photo/Harrison McClary, Reuters)

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston called for prayers for the victims killed and injured in a pair of school shootings in Kentucky and Texas.

In a statement released Jan. 23 after the second shooting in two days, Cardinal DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Christians experience the pain of the family and friends of the victims "as if it were our own."

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"We pray for eternal rest for those who have died. Let us pray, too, for the families, teachers and friends who must now endure the suffering of losing those dearest to them," the cardinal said.

"We stand in solidarity with the children who face a long road of recover from serious injuries. May they find comfort in a loving community," he said.

He also called for people to reach out "in compassion to assist the grieving."

Police said a 15-year-old male student was arrested at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky, Jan. 23 after two people died and 17 were injured after a shooter opened fire before classes began.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said the teenager faced murder and attempted murder charges.

The slain victims were a boy and a girl, both 15, state police said. The girl died at the scene and the boy died at a hospital.

A day earlier in Italy, Texas, police arrested a 16-year-old high school student in connection with a shooting that left a 15-year-old girl injured.

Police in the community about 50 miles south of Dallas, said the incident occurred in the Italy High School cafeteria. The girl was airlifted to a hospital in Dallas. Police did not release any other information about the incident.

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