A differing view on Newtown ‘angels’

A Fayetteville pastor made some comments regarding grieving and angels in his 12/19 letter to the editor.

He said that he saw a woman interviewed on the news who quoted a “priest” as saying, “We now have 20 new angels watching over us.” (For the record, this priest also called them “saints” but we can save this for another article.)

The Fayetteville pastor further states that “... well-meaning people often make inaccurate observations that short-circuit the grief process and that have become pat phrases during tragic times like that which took place at Newtown ... people don’t know what to say, yet they feel they have to say something.”

He goes on to say, “That is why statements like the one about angels don’t go very far in the long run. ... God does not need more angels. ... Tragedies like the one in Newtown ... do not serve as a feeder source for God’s angelic host.”

Our son was one of the very first responder physicians at Sandy Hook. He said he looked into the face of extreme evil, yet he sensed the calming presence of 20 “angels.”

Our granddaughter lost some of her best friends and former classmates. She and her younger siblings call them “angels.” Many of the bereaved parents and family call their children “angels” at their funeral eulogies. Many Christians still believe that a guardian angel is assigned to each of us to guide us through life.

As I grow older and become more jaded, I can appreciate this all the more as my guardian angel is probably growing tired of me and would like to retire. I would consider myself blessed beyond belief if I was assigned one of the 20 new angels.

Some Christian churches still practice the ancient rite of the Mass of Angels.

And lastly, the “priest” mentioned above is Monsignor Robert Weiss, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown, with thousands of parishioners. He concelebrated the 12/14/12 Friday night ecumenical candle-light vigil. He delivered the closing homily at the President’s visit to Newtown and Sandy Hook. He had eight funerals this week where he has cited 20 angels and saints.

“Father Bob” is a dear friend of our son’s family. If Fr. Bob said they are angels it must be true. I would respectably suggest that the Fayetteville pastor visit Newtown and experience the presence of angels as we have.

“In the arms of an angel, may you find some comfort here.” The 20 Newtown angels are real.

Michael Velsmid

Peachtree City, Ga.

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