Franklin Regional families seek answers from pulpit
Murrysville found solace in prayer on Sunday, four days after violence invaded its high school.
Hundreds of people flocked to places of worship, where church leaders offered words of comfort to a community grappling with one its own students accused of using two knives to attack 20 classmates and a guard at Franklin Regional Senior High School on Wednesday.
“Lord, please fill in the answers for us and let us be lifted by you, to help those who need you and those who need guidance,” said Senior Pastor Dan Lawrence at Murrysville Alliance Church.
Several parishioners wore freshly printed T-shirts honoring students at Franklin Regional High, which has been closed since the rampage. Since then, members of the community have pulled together with fundraisers for victims' medical expenses, vigils and other measures of support.
On Palm Sunday, the Rev. William Lechnar invoked the Mother of Sorrows' anguish over the crucifixion of her son, Jesus, which turned to the joy of resurrection on Easter Sunday.
“She is our hope,” Lechnar told worshippers at Mother of Sorrows Parish, which is attended by 300 Franklin Regional high school students.
Three male students remain in critical condition in Forbes Hospital.
Jared Boger, 17, is in critical condition in UPMC Presbyterian, where the last in a series of planned surgeries was a success on Sunday, Dr. Louis Alarcon said. Surgeons repaired a knife wound in his abdomen, diaphragm and liver in four intentionally staggered procedures.
Boger no longer requires a ventilator and is breathing on his own, said Alarcon, who spoke with the teen for the first time on Saturday. “It was actually a big plus for me,” Alarcon said. “I was really impressed with his calm demeanor.”
Boger has a long recovery ahead, Alarcon said.
The accused attacker, Alex Hribal, 16, underwent a psychological evaluation on Sunday in Regional Youth Services Center in Hempfield, where he is being held since being charged as an adult with attempted murder and aggravated assault.
District administrators have planned a gradual transition for students to return to school. Students will be able to enter the high school and walk around the building on Tuesday with family members, if they wish, before classes resume on Wednesday.
“Those students that go back to that school will never look at that school the same way,” Lawrence told the worshippers at Murrysville Alliance Church.
He suggested that victims seek out the support of family, friends, a pastor and a professional, if necessary.
Others should be patient and willing to listen. “As friends, be available, but don't be pushy,” Lawrence advised.
The victims are contending with “a powerful shock that may have long-lasting effects,” the pastor said. “Their life is no longer normal as you define it.”
About 700 people attended a prayer service at Mother of Sorrows on Wednesday night, Lechnar said.
“It wakes people up that maybe they're not in control,” he said before Mass began at 11:30 a.m.
“We look to God at so many times and we ask why or how or what if,” Lechnar told the congregation. “Here we are, we trust in you, we embrace you, we accept your love.”
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Hempfield man dies in single-vehicle accident
- Land costs for New Stanton turnpike interchange project reach $4.2M
- 2 Hempfield Area students charged with sexting
- Police seek public help with East Huntingdon store thefts
- Murrysville woman apologizes for scholarship fund theft
- Donors’ generosity allows Clairview School girls to get fancy for prom
- Need to vote on rules for rentals in Jeannette called ‘dire’
- Hempfield bicyclist who brought rock, knives into court office charged
- 2 charged with copper theft from Greensburg house
- Jeannette police say 5 people caught trespassing on grounds