Raleigh, N.C. — With so many people still out of work and the random acts of violence this past year, worshippers in Raleigh said they have a lot to pray about this Christmas.
Inside the sanctuary at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Edenton Street, where hundreds gathered for morning Mass, parishioners turned toward faith for hope and healing.
“Certainly, people have asked in the midst of the darkness of our world, how is it possible to find hope,” Bishop Michael Burbidge said.
This year, the holiday has a somber tone in the wake of nationwide violence that includes the mass shootings in Connecticut and the killing of two firefighters in New York.
“We do really pray for that, especially people losing their lives through guns,” said Emmanuel Agyekum, who lives in Raleigh. “We heard what happened in Connecticut. In New York, firefighters get shot. It’s being a mess in the United States.”
Another parishioner, Susan Coats of Raleigh, said, “The world needs God in their lives for a lot of reasons, but mostly to defeat evil.”
Burbidge called on the faithful to “counter to darkness of the world.” The words resonated in the sanctuary Tuesday.
“I feel a stronger need to pray for the world,” Coats said.