Boston archdiocese taking steps to keep parishioners safe at churches

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the leader of the Boston archdiocese. DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF/File

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said Monday that it is taking “appropriate steps” to ensure safety at parishes after a gunman fatally shot 26 people and wounded about 20 more during a horrific attack Sunday at a Texas church.

“The Archdiocese of Boston is committed to seeing that our parishes, schools and ministries take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of parishioners, staff, volunteers and visitors,” the archdiocese said in a statement. “This is especially relevant considering recent tragic events and the current environment in which we live.”

The prepared statement came after Devin Kelley, 26, carried out the deadly rampage Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. As he left the church, Kelley was pursued by a man who had his own rifle. Kelley was later found dead in his vehicle. Cops believe he shot himself.

“Our parishes and schools work with their local safety and security advisory committees, staff, volunteers and local responders to be prepared and vigilant,” the Boston archdiocese said. “This is done in consultation with the Archdiocesan Office of Risk Management.”

The archdiocese also said its parishes are “welcoming communities of faith committed to being of service to the mission of the Church while recognizing the challenges our entire society faces in these turbulent times. We continue to pray for all impacted by the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas.”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the leader of the Boston archdiocese, on Sunday had urged his flock to pray for the Texas victims.

“Pray for those lost, the injured and all impacted by today’s shooting Sutherland Springs TX,” O’Malley tweeted. “Pray that God leads our society to find the courage, wisdom and determination to end the violence.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.

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