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More than 150 stand in Silent Circle of Solidarity for Orlando shooting victims, LGBTQ community

More than 150 people joined a Silent Circle of Solidarity outside St. John's Church June 21 to commemorate the lives of victims in the Orlando mass shooting and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community.The bells at St. John’s Church pealed 49 times the morning of June 21, one chime for each of the victims in the June 12 mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Beneath St. John’s spires, more than 150 people from Creighton University and the wider Omaha area assembled in a Silent Circle of Solidarity around the fountain on the Skinner Mall to commemorate the lives lost and stand with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Many of the victims of the June 12 violence, which also left 53 people wounded, were members of the LGBTQ community.

“As people in Omaha and around the world continue mourning the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, we are reminded of our obligation as a Catholic, Jesuit university to work together toward greater cultural understanding,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J. “Indeed, our mission statement informs us: ‘The inalienable worth of each individual and appreciation of ethnic and cultural diversity are core values at Creighton.’”

For 15 minutes, as the church bells chimed, the gathered supporters kept a silent vigil beneath a warming sun on the first full day of summer. The silence was broken by a prayer for peace, healing and understanding.

In addition to the Silent Circle, Creighton also offered a Mass for the Orlando shooting victims June 14.

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