National

Dec 23, 2012 6:43 PM by Associated Press

Church leaders in Newtown receive ovations

NEWTOWN, Conn. - Church leaders in Newtown are receiving standing ovations from parishioners they are helping to cope with the massacre at an elementary school.

Monsignor Robert Weiss of the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic church received applause at Sunday Mass and said he is grateful to everyone in the community for giving him strength to get through the week. Eight of the 20 children and two of the six adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School belonged to his church.

The Rev. Kathleen Adams-Shepherd at Trinity Episcopal Church also received an ovation and kisses from a long line of parishioners. She offered a prayer for the 26 victims at the school as well as the gunman and his slain mother.

Weiss calls it says the "worst week" of his life, but says the pain is surely not over for victims' families. In a church bulletin, he writes: "We know that some hearts in this town will be broken again on Christmas morning when that one special person is not there to open their gifts." He urged people to celebrate Christmas with prayers for hope, healing and peace.

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