SASKATOON — In the days following the shooting at La Loche Community School in northern Saskatchewan, Saskatoon-area response has included expressions of support, prayers and fundraising initiatives.
Bishop Donald Bolen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon sent a message to parishes across the diocese, inviting their prayers for the people of La Loche after the event, which left four dead and seven injured, with a 17-year-old in police custody.
The bishop also said that donations to meet the needs of the community and families affected by the shooting can be made through parishes in the Diocese of Saskatoon, with funds to be forwarded to the Archdiocese of Keewatin Le-Pas for Archbishop Murray Chatlain to distribute where the need is greatest.
Other community fundraising initiatives have also been launched. Andréa Ledding of Saskatoon has set up an account at the Sutherland SARCAN recycling depot (350B-103rd Street E, Saskatoon) where donations of cash and/or bottle returns can be directed to La Loche families and community support. Efforts are underway to expand the idea to other recycling depots, including Prince Albert and La Ronge.
“There are seven families with people in critical or other conditions at Royal University Hospital, many who had only the clothes on their back when they came down, and have needed places to stay in the city,” Ledding noted.
St. John Anglican Cathedral organized a prayer service Feb. 2 to pray for the people of La Loche. “The purpose of the service is to offer an opportunity for the people of our city to show their support and solidarity to the people of La Loche in their time of sorrow, grief and loss,” said Rev. Scott Pittendrigh, rector and dean of the Anglican cathedral. Representatives from the ecumenical community, multi-faith groups, indigenous and civic leaders were invited to participate in the service.