Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Virginia Tech held classes on Monday for the first time on the anniversary of the country's deadliest mass shooting.
BLACKSBURG, VA (Catholic Online) - Officials said resuming classroom instruction on the anniversary of the April 16, 2007 shooting, of which a mentally ill student gunned down 32 people, provided another way to honor the memories of those students and faculty members who died that dreadful day.
Virginia Tech marked the five-year anniversary at midnight with the lighting of a ceremonial candle that shall remain lit for the next 24 hours. Members of the university's Corps of Cadets will stand guard at the candle for 32 minutes and do so again before the candle is extinguished. Governor Bob McDonnell is scheduled to give a speech on Monday night.
Officials of Virginia Tech faced criticism after the 2007 massacre for taking more than two hours to notify the campus of a shooting that left two students dead in a hallway on the Morning of April 16. After the alert about the shooting went out, Virginia Tech student, Seung-Hui Cho killed 30 more people and wounded more than 24 people before killing himself.
The shooting has since inspired campuses to enhance alert systems, while Congress has passed a law that makes it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy firearms.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.