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Catholic Schools’ Newtown Prayer Draws Emotional Response

A school hallway (CBS)

A school hallway (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A special prayer will be held in Catholic schools across the Chicago area this morning in memory of the victims of the school shooting in Connecticut.

Many parents welcome the effort, but some have voiced concerns.

On the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic school’s Facebook page – Gretchen Idle renlund writes, “Schools should be our children’s safe home away from home and telling them that somewhere in our country some man physically broke into an elementary school and murdered 20 innocent children is something that should not be included in our curriculum.”

But Michelle Totman O’Gara writes, “I believe our school staff will provide comfort for our students, including my own children, and prayer is a wonderful way to support this.”

In response, Ryan Blackburn, Director of School Communications for the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools, responded: “Please know that we have weighed this carefully. We believe that this incident will reach into the lives of most of our children, no matter how much we try to shelter them from it.

“The main reason we feel OK about inviting schools to do this tomorrow is our confidence in the ability of our administrators and teachers to treat this in a very appropriate way for students – with particular sensitivity to those who are younger.”

“We will also offer out a more general prayer for all children and to all those who are suffering.”