St. Joseph Catholic Church holds peace and healing mass after Oxford High School shooting

Oxford High School mass
Posted at 7:19 PM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 23:53:26-05

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Healing is what the message was at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lake Orion during Tuesday night's mass.

The pews were filled with the the Oxford community, including neighbors, parents and the some students who survived the day's tragic shooting at the high school.

The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon. Officials said three people have died and eight others were injured. A 15-year-old student, a sophomore at the school, has been taken into custody.


Hundreds came into the church looking for comfort and some looking for safety.

"Scared ... it’s a lot," said Ella Gilling, a junior at Oxford High School.

While she has a lot on her mind, she says paying her respects to the three students who lost their lives today was important.

"They deserve to be known, but they didn’t deserve to die tonight,” she said.

Gage Harris knows one of those students.

"We are absolutely devastated to know that he was on one of the people who lost his life. Seeing everyone here today shows how much we care for our community,” he said.

Father John Carlin says the mass Tuesday night was about healing. But this afternoon, it was about being there for community's children.

"As soon as I heard what happened, I drove up to the Meijer where most of the students had evacuated," said Father Carlin.

He started praying families in the Meijer parking lot.

Just steps away, Tom Morrissey could see everything unfolding from inside his bar next to Meijer.

“I just saw a pouring of students over the hill here,” said Morrissey, owner of Birdies Indoor Golf and Bar.

He says the community close knit, and 80 percent of his customers are Oxford High families.

"It hits home," he said.

Junior Maggie Fetz left school early Tuesday, but when she heard about the shooting, all she could think about was her little cousin.

“I was just freaking out," she said.

For people who didn’t know the three victims, gilling wants you to know this: "They were amazing people with many talents. With so many talents.”

For those in the community who are looking for any kind of service, the church doors here are open. Mass is tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.

Oxford High School shooting mass
St. Joseph Catholic Church holds a peace and healing mass after a deadly shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron with the Archdiocese of Detroit offered prayers after the shooting:

“I am heartbroken to hear of the horrific tragedy at Oxford High School. On behalf of the clergy, religious, and faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit, I offer heartfelt prayers for the victims, their families, and all those affected in our community. “May Our Blessed Mother wrap all those wounded — physically, emotionally, or spiritually — in her loving mantle and offer them consolation in the difficult days ahead.”