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Bells ring in Weston for shooting victims

From left, the Rev. Robert Ross of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Robert Fortin, St. Francis Seminarian student, Father Michael Dunn of St. Francis, and First Selectman Gayle Weinstein participated in an interfaith vigil and bell ringing held at St. Francis in Weston on Friday, Dec. 21, in honor of the Sandy Hook shooting victims. —Patricia Gay photo

In memory of the 20 children and six teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown who died on Dec. 14, bells tolled in Weston 26 times at both St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and at Emmanuel Episcopal Church last week, on Friday, Dec. 21, at 9:30 a.m.

An interfaith silent vigil held at St. Francis prior to the carillon bell ringing was attended by more than 150 people.

Most sat with heads bowed in prayer, and sniffles could be heard with each chime of the bells.

Before the bell ringing, First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said she looked forward to hearing the bells because they provided some finality to what the families had gone through.

The Rev. Robert Ross from Emmanuel Episcopal Church recited from the scripture. “God is always there,” he said.

Father Michael Dunn of St. Francis offered reassurance with Psalm 121. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord,” he said.

The Rev. Bernard Wilson from Norfield Congregational Church closed the vigil and said, “We’ve cried because tears are the way we wash away our pain.” He led the group in the singing of God Bless America.

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