With horror and pain in my heart I have followed reports of the recent atrocity in Las Vegas, as a result of which so many are dead and many more are injured. Our prayers, deepest feelings and sympathies are with all those affected by this unimaginable cruelty. We offer our prayers at the holy shrine of St John (Maximovich) the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, which contain his incorrupt, healing and life-bearing relics; and we fervently plead for his Godly intercessions, to warm and comfort the relatives of the reposed and those undergoing treatment in hospitals and elsewhere, and to appeal to the Lord of All that He would send His heavenly peace into the hearts of all men.
From my heart I wish God's help to the clergy and faithful of the fraternal Orthodox Churches in the region, affected by this horrific event; to the doctors and law enforcement officials who continue even now to labor on site for the aid of the innocent; and to those who even at this hour seek out the circumstances of this incident, striving to bring assistance and support to those now in need.
Though in the face of such evil the darkness of the world feels overwhelming, as Christians we must never forget that there is "a Light that shines in the darkness” (John 1:5), and that the darkness has not, and will not, and cannot overcome it. May this terrible tragedy lead us selflessly to work toward the good, to bring more of the Light of Christ into this "adulterous and sinful" world, making it less dark through the proclamation of His divine presence.
Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America