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Prayers, support offered for Newtown, CT shooting victims

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Prayers, support offered for Newtown, CT shooting victims
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Across the country, people are trying to make sense of the Newtown tragedy. One Central New York congregation gathered Saturday to offer prayers and comfort for the victims and survivors and each other. Our Sarah Blazonis tells us why many said reports of the killings will stick with them for a long time to come.

TULLY, N.Y. -- It's a tragedy no one ever thinks could happen to their community, but for the dozens who came together at St. Leo's Church in Tully, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary hit too close to home.

"I work in a school, I see children every day and my heart just breaks for those parents that lost their children," said Tully resident Mary Meixell.

"School is supposed to be a safe place for most, if not all, children and for that to be compromised is horrifying," said Denise Cardamone, also from Tully.

The questions asked amongst parishioners are the same echoed around the country: What could prompt someone to take the lives of 20 innocent children and six adults? And could the same thing happen here?

Father Jim Carey says it's those feelings of shared grief and uncertainty that prompted the special service.

"It's beyond words what we're experiencing, so I felt we needed to come together, not only to pray for our brothers and sisters in Connecticut, but to console and help each other," said Father Carey.

Father Carey says it's not only a situation that's difficult to explain to children, but one that's hard for adults to comprehend as well.

"I think adults are much more aware, and I think it's got to be a parent's worst nightmare," said Father Carey.

Former teacher and principal Peter Cardamone says it's a fear shared by the many educators at the service as well.

"You realize that all the time and safety we put in since Columbine, through all of the events that have happened, nothing's ever perfect and you're not happy in that imperfection," said Cardamone.

The service ended with a child walking out of the church carrying a candle. It was meant to symbolize the eternal life parishioners believe the victims will now have in heaven and the existence of good in an imperfect world. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP