On the day that many school students planned to walk out of school to protest gun violence, two Pennsylvania Catholic schools will hold prayer services for the victims of the Parkland, Florida, mass killing instead.
Wednesday marks the one-month anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass murder.
What are the details?
According to Fox News, “tens of thousands of high school students” are expected to participate in Wednesday’s walkout protests. The protests are set to begin at 10 a.m. and last 17 minutes.
Two Erie County schools, however — Cathedral Preparatory School and Villa Maria Academy — will hold a Mass and a prayer service for victims of February’s deadly Florida mass killing.
Father Scott Jabo, president of the two schools, told “Fox & Friends” that prayer as a tool could be make a “powerful impact.”
Jabo said that during the Mass, all 17 victims’ names will be read aloud to commemorate the lives of those killed in Florida.
“They’ll read their names and a little biography to make it real to all of us who will be in attendance these are real people who had died,” Jabo explained. “And then we will offer them up a prayer and we’ll pray for an end to school violence, doing something that we as a Catholic school can and should do, and that is pray and unleash that power of prayer.”
Jabo noted that if any students do plan to stage a walkout, or participate in one, they will be disciplined, according to school policy.
“I’m confident that our students will want to be a part of this,” he added, “Recognizing that this is a very impactful and very powerful way to address the issue of school violence, but also to pray for the victims of this most recent shooting in Parkland, Florida.”