Tens of thousands of high school students are expected to participate in the National School Walkout on Wednesday.
For 17 minutes starting at 10:00 a.m. across each time zone, students, faculty and supporters nationwide will walk out of their schools to honor those killed in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this year and to protest gun violence.
Two Erie, Pennsylvania, Catholic high schools, however, are taking a different approach.
Cathedral Preparatory School and Villa Maria Academy have decided to hold a mass, including a prayer service for the victims.
Father Scott Jabo, president of the schools, explained on “Fox & Friends” that administrators determined that Prep and Villa could have a powerful impact by uniting in prayer for the victims.
He said that during the prayer service, 17 students will step forward and read the names of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting.
“They’ll read their names and a little biography to make it real to all of us who will be in attendance these are real people who had died. And then we will offer them up a prayer and we’ll pray for an end to school violence, doing something that we as a Catholic school can and should do, and that is pray and unleash that power of prayer,” Jabo said.
He said if any students decide to participate in the walk out, he will be disappointed and they would be disciplined as if they had walked out of any school mass or event.
“But I’m confident that our students will want to be a part of this, recognizing that this is a very impactful and very powerful way to address the issue of school violence, but also to pray for the victims of this most recent shooting in Parkland, Florida.”
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