My brothers and sisters,
Many of you will have seen in today's news that we experienced an event at our cathedral today involving an active shooter. The cathedral has issued the following statement about the event:
"Our Carols for the Community event this afternoon was interrupted by an armed individual, who set off a round of gunfire into the air from our front steps. Thankfully, no injuries were reported among the attendees and the suspect is in custody. It is horrible that our choir’s gift to New York City, a much-needed afternoon of song and unity, was cut short by this shocking act of violence. We will remain strong, together, and serve as a safe space for prayer, meditation and celebration during the upcoming holiday season. We are grateful to our first responders, and our prayers are with all those affected by this event."
Both Dean Daniel and I were in the street in front of the cathedral during the event, and were witnesses to the gunfire, by a shooter standing immediately in front of the great bronze doors. It is important to note that the gunman did not, by all appearances, aim his weapons at any person, nor did he shoot at anyone, and no one was hurt. The gunman, though, was shot by police officers and has subsequently lost his life. I ask your prayers for the cathedral clergy, staff and community; for the many who were traumatized by the event; and for the gunman himself. On an afternoon that brought us the most sublime and beautiful Christmas music, an hour of terror, and the shock of self-destructive violence, I bid you all, in the Name of Christ, the fullness of Advent hope and Christmas peace.