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Archbishop of Newark issues first statement on shooting tragedy

To the Editor:

As we journeyed through 2010, we were certain of some milestones. Christopher Wallace would never see 38. John Lennon would never see 70. Marvin Gaye would never see 71. John F. Kennedy would never see 93.

Now, sadly, we also must mark that Jessica Moore will never see 20. Four other equally precious young people who were injured, and many present at the gathering, will carry physical and emotional scars for years to come.

The tragic combination of dangerous weapons and reckless behavior always is fatal, always claims victims. It steals society of generous, energetic, artistic, brilliant men and women. It steals families and friends of loving sons, daughters, husbands, wives. It perverts the potential for good in those who choose violence over goodness.

To the parents, family and friends of Jessica Moore, I can only offer the words of Isaiah: "I have called you by name: you are mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you." It is central to our Catholic faith and our belief in the hope of resurrection and eternal life in Christ.

To the students of Seton Hall, I offer a prayer and challenge. Do not pass this milestone by as you seek to honor the memory of Jessica Moore with prayer services and other memorials. Stop and recommit yourselves to choices that promote the sanctity and dignity of each human life, and that secure a life of promise for all.

Sincerely in the Lord,

Most Reverend John J. Myers

Archbishop of Newark

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