Attleboro - Less than a week ago, 129 ordinary and ill-fated people went about their lives in Paris. They had plans for Friday night, Nov. 13, 2015. Some were headed to a rock concert. Some were meeting friends at cafes with the idea of sitting outdoors at sidewalk tables on an unusually warm fall night.
What their stories were, we don't know. What their hopes and dreams were, we don't know. What their troubles were, we don't know.

But, we do know how they died. Bullets shredded their lives in a sudden and savage attack by terrorists from the Islamic State group who exploded out of the dark with only one aim – to kill. And that they did, drenching the floors of a concert hall and the streets of Paris with the blood of innocents, shocking the City of Lights and the world.

At least 350 more were wounded, many severely. It was an end to the night none of the 129 could have imagined. Waves of sadness and anger swept over all civilized nations, washing into the smallest corners of countries, everywhere prompting prayers for peace, for comfort and for an end to senseless slaughter.

Some of those prayers were said Wednesday night in Attleboro, where at least 40 souls gathered outside the church at La Salette Shrine to sing, to light candles, to memorialize the victims and to banish the evil that tore them from the arms of loved ones.

"These are sad, troubled and dark times in our world," Shrine Director, the Rev. Ted Brown said under an as yet unlighted Christmas sign that reads "Mercy Reigns." "We came to say we will not be overcome by this darkness," he said. That such a merciless murder of innocents could rend a peaceful Paris night stunned the world, he said.

"We were all shocked Friday when we began to see the images and hear the reports," Brown said, noting that most of the victims were young people "doing what young people do on a warm fall night."

Untitled-2eople connected to the La Salette Shrine gather in prayer for the victims and the perpetrators of the Paris attacksThey listened to their music and sipped their wine, having the time of their lives in the last time of their lives, a time when their warm loving lives were about to be frozen in the icy grip of death. "I think about the chill that must be going through the families of those who died," Brown said. "Let's warm them here tonight."

Candles were lighted and prayers were prayed.

Prayer is the force that can change a violent world, some of the gathered faithful said. "The most effective thing we can do is pray for change in our world," said John Swedborg of Taunton. "A prayer is power," said Kim Proulx of Seekonk.

Jody Nadeau of Attleboro said the vigil was one way to show solidarity with the afflicted in France. "This is one, and maybe the only way, to show our support for the people in Paris and their families," she said, with her friend Faye Ballou nodding in agreement.

Another of the faithful, Aurora Anebalo of Attleboro, said that when evil invades the world, turning to God is a must. "A lot of innocent people are dying, and that's not right," she said. "We have to have faith in God. God is good, and he's going to help us."
(from left) Fr. Ted Brown, M.S. Shrine Director, leads part of the Prayer Service;
both Fr. Lamartine Eliscar, M.S. (center) and Justin Richardson (right) are
members of the Shrine Staff

(Reprinted with permission of the article, “Faithful at Attleboro's La Salette Shrine Pray for Paris Terror Victims”, Nov. 19. 2015, by George W. Rhodes, Sun Chronicle Staff Member, see
Sun Chronicle)