Parishioners attend mass following priest attack

PHOENIX - Saturday morning mass took place as usual at Mother of Mercy Mission Church as parishioners deal with the loss of Father Kenneth Walker and pray for the recovery of Father Joseph Terra.

Many of them described the mass as solemn and feeling an air of sadness around the church.

"It's mixed feelings, you know? You're happy the church is open and they're going to have more priests serve us here, but one of our family died," said parishioner David Tedform.

Another parishioner named Joseph has attended the church since last year.

Father Terra baptized his first born and he spoke with Father Walker just one day before his death.

Not seeing either of them today performing mass is still surreal.

"It's kind of eerie that you see a monument or a memorial not only to a priest, but a young priest and a man by all accounts who is a very saintly man," he said.

Knowing they weren't there due to an act of violence made this morning's mass that much tougher for Joseph.

"To see the blessed sacrament, the kind of peace that's involved in the catholic church, and then right next door you see that there was a vicious murder and a horrendous beating," he said.

But both men feel that during this tough time, showing their faith and going to mass, is what both Father Walker and Father Terra would want them to do

"It's highlighting, hopefully in a positive sense, the Catholic faith," said Tedford.

The church will be holding mass again on Sunday, the first one scheduled for 7 a.m.

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