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Churchgoers pray for peace and healing after tragic events in Charlottesville

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Communities across Virginia came together Thursday evening to pray for peace and healing following the tragic events in Charlottesville.

In Henrico, a crowd filled Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church for a chance to pause and reflect on what has taken place over the past week and a time to pray for healing in the days to come.

Father James Begley said it is important for others to see the community stand as one. That is why they organized the bilingual mass for peace and healing.

Father James Begley

“Everybody was really anxious this weekend and the leaders came as soon as I asked on short notice to bring this together,” Father Begley said.

Frank Castelvecchi and his wife were among those who gathered for the service. They decided to come out to honor the victims and to pray for change.

“The radicals on both sides and the political leaders that are profiting from it,” Castelvecchi said. “The agitators that are profiting from it and using it for fundraising and to stir up their base need to calm down the rhetoric.”

Pam Harris with the Black Catholics and Asian Ministry for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond said despite the potential divisions on display over the weekend there is an important message to keep in mind.

“We’re a diverse community, we’re a diverse nation so you may not have seen it all Saturday or even Friday but really we are all in this together.”