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Vigil Mass and procession memorialize Key Bridge workers

Baltimore Key Bridge procession

WJZ | Fair Use via YouTube

J-P Mauro - published on 04/10/24

The Catholic community of Baltimore is praying for the fallen, while the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese provide for their families.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore held a vigil and prayer walk to memorialize the six men who died in the Key Bridge collapse; the bodies of three of them have yet to be recovered from the Patapsco River. The walk drew in a crowd large enough to fill an entire city block as the Catholic community mourned, prayed, and sang.

The evening began with a bilingual vigil Mass at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, home to the largest portion of Spanish speaking Catholics in Baltimore. At the vigil, which practically filled the parish church, those gathered prayed for the souls of Miguel Luna, Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, José Mynor López, Carlos Hernández and Alejandro Hernández Fuentes; these six were the roadwork team that fell victim to the catastrophe. 

The bodies of Dorlian Castillo and Alejandro Hernández were found shortly after the collapse. Suazo’s body was found this week.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the candle-lit prayer walk following the Mass also drew a large crowd to pray. The flags of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras were carried to represent the nations from which the six men had originated.

Most strikingly, the walkers took turns carrying a platform, constructed by parishioners, that bore six crosses, each with a safety vest hung around it, and each bearing the name of one of the fallen. The procession stopped to hold moments of silence for all six men and pray for each in turn. 

At the prayer walk, Father Ako Walker of Sacred Heart Church told ABC 7 News

“I keep saying the Latino community is large,” he added. “It is small in terms of love and the bond they have with each other, and so our vigil tonight is our attempt as a Church to reach out and to be bridges of love and hope for families that are suffering at this time.”

While the parish is tending to the emotional turmoil of its flock in the wake of such a disaster, the Archdiocese and Knights of Columbus are working to support the families of the deceased. Parishioner John Mulcahy told WMAR2 News that the Knights have already made a large donation to the families: 

“This is a very growing parish for the Knights of Columbus, so we, as many as could in short notice, came out. The Knights of Columbus and the Supreme Council gave a $100,000 check for the families, so you know we’re just here to support them,” says John Mulcahy.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Baltimore has been raising funds as well. It has raised some $47,000 in just two weeks since the crash. The Archdiocese will continue to provide aid for these families in the coming month.

The city has only just begun the cleanup process, while the government is working on a relief bill for those impacted by the bridge collapse.

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