Catholic Organization and Archdiocese Support Victims in Uvalde as the New School Year Begins

Catholic Extension launched a program to help Uvalde children after the Robb Elementary shooting.
This nonprofit organization announced on August 15, that it has awarded 30 full scholarships to children who were wounded in the Robb Elementary School mass shooting. Many families transferred their children from Robb Elementary School to Sacred Heart Catholic School. According to a news release, 80 families are seeking a transfer. 
The scholarships awarded are a part of Catholic Extension’s ongoing efforts to support the well-being of the children and their families of Uvalde. 
Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, issued the following statement: “Catholic Extension is committed to the ongoing care and support for the children and families of Uvalde, TX. It is our belief that awarding scholarships to Sacred Heart Catholic School will provide a safe and loving educational environment to children who are suffering from the physical and emotional wounds of violence.”

For their first day, students, families and staff celebrated Mass with Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, followed by a reception and ribbon cutting ceremony in the newly renovated cafeteria and activity center. Children and families enjoyed cupcakes, cookies, finger foods, punch, taking pictures in a first day of school photo booth, and singing, including the school chant. They also received new backpacks and school supplies. Families waited in the cafeteria while the children went to their classrooms to meet teachers and classmates. The half-day schedule and involvement of families helped ensure this first day was a positive start to a year of hope and healing.
“Since the beginning we have walked side-by-side with these families in Uvalde. It seems just a moment ago we were here with them through their grieving and funeral services,” said Archbishop Gustavo. “In this same church we welcome the little ones, offering them love and hope for their futures. I cannot think of any more beautiful place to embrace them than into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
Catholic Extension launched the first of many initiatives this week to support the community of Uvalde, Texas, following the devastation of the Robb Elementary mass shooting.
Camp I-CAN, which stands for Inner strength, Commitment, Awareness and Networking, provided third, fourth, and fifth graders a safe space to heal, have fun, and gently reintegrated the children into a school-like setting around their peers. The majority of the children who attended the camp are survivors of the Robb Elementary mass shooting, although all Uvalde children of age were invited to participate.
The camp is led by Sister Dolores Aviles—a Uvalde native—as well as 13 other religious sisters. It was held July 25 to July 28 at the St. Henry de Osso Project Center in Uvalde.
Catholic Extension is also supporting 6 religious sisters to provide emotional support to students during their first week back at school. 
Sister Esther M. Guerrero, MCDP, issued the following statement: “Returning to school is undoubtedly a scary and trying time right now for the kids of Uvalde, however they are filled with hope. This week, our focus is solely on showing the students, parents and teachers love and support through simply being by their side. We are here to serve this grieving community, no matter how big or small.”
Thousands have come to Sacred Heart Church in recent months, not just because the vast majority of the victims happened to be Catholic, but because the parish is still a natural place of convening, where people find strength and hope in one another.
📸 Xavier Ramirez