EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

April 19, 2013

Interfaith service offers message of healing, hope

ANDOVER — While crowds lined the sidewalks outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston to catch a glimpse of President Barack Obama yesterday, several members of St. Augustine Parish gathered to quietly reflect on the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“There is strength in numbers,” said parishioner Nancy Cronin, as she watched on TV the start of an interfaith service in the Boston cathedral attended by the president and his wife and 2,000 other people to remember the victims of the bombings and to rally a shaken city.

The Rev. Mr. Lou Piazza, deacon at St. Augustine, who was in Boston on Monday while his son’s girlfriend ran in the marathon, said the interfaith service was “marvelous and wonderful.”

“While there are tragedies in every day life, this one is a public one. This is a shared pain and it’s moments like these where we share our faith,” said Piazza, who knew Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford — one of the three race spectators killed in the blasts.

“She was a shining light. She was one of those people who literally lit the room when she walked in,” Piazza said of Campbell.

Some runners from Monday’s marathon were among those who attended the Boston service, and many donned their race jackets for it. Attendees also included a number of Boston nurses who have cared for the wounded since the bombings.

In his remarks, Obama promised that Boston would “run again.” His message of resolve was echoed by Mayor Thomas Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick at a packed interfaith service.

“Nothing will take us down because we take care of one another,” said Menino, who struggled out of a wheelchair to deliver his speech. “Even with the smell of smoke in the air and blood in the streets and tears in our eyes, we triumphed over that hateful act.”

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