Mass to Mark 1st Anniversary of Denver Theater Shootings

Victims' Families, Mayor to Attend

Denver, Colorado, (Zenit.org) | 1045 hits

On Friday, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver will celebrate a Mass marking the first anniversary of the Aurora theater shooting.

Several victims' families will attend and will be joined by Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan and other local officials. All of the priests and deacons of the Archdiocese of Denver have also been invited to participate.

The event commemorates the July 20, 2012, shooting inside a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises.

A gunman set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others.

James Eagan Holmes was arrested outside the cinema minutes later. Criminal proceedings against him are still under way.

In January, Archbishop Aquila presided over a ceremony for the reopening of the theater.

He said on that occasion that God wants to "guide our feet into the way of peace."

"The way of peace means rejecting the violence of that night. It means giving to God our desire for vengeance, our hatred, our bitterness, and our anger," he said. "Walking in the way of peace means knowing that we are connected to one another -- that in the family of humanity, each of our lives has worth, and dignity, meaning, and purpose. God calls us to pursue together what is true, what is good, and what is beautiful. The way of peace means coming together in love."