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Archdiocese of Baltimore ministers to victims’ families, stranded crew of bridge collapse

In the wake of the Francis Scott Key Bridge’s collapse on Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Baltimore has been at the forefront of efforts to help the victims.

Archbishop William Lori called for prayer and held a special Mass for the victims Tuesday evening at Baltimore’s Cathedral of Mary, Our Queen. Among the victims are two injured and six missing construction workers, who are presumed dead, and 22 who were stranded aboard the Singaporean ship that crashed into the bridge.

Father Ako Walker, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Highlandtown, Maryland, has been visiting with the missing victims’ families, offering spiritual and emotional comfort. He told CNA that the six missing men have families who are now heartbroken and in shock over the loss of their loved ones.

“They were fathers, they were breadwinners, they were sons,” he said.

As authorities have yet to recover six of the victims, Walker said he has been ministering to their families by simply giving them his “accompaniment and presence.”

“It’s very, very difficult to receive the news of the possibility that you may not see your loved one alive again,” Walker said. “They have been struggling to come to terms. They have been asking questions and of course, it being very early on, it’s difficult to give very definite responses to the questions that they have.”

“For many of them, it’s been a waiting game. My role is to wait with them, to journey with them until they get some definitive news as regards to their loved ones,” he explained.

Andrew Middleton, who leads the archdiocese’s Apostleship of the Sea ministry, was one of the first people to communicate with the crew of the ship, called the “Dali,” just hours after its catastrophic electrical failure and collision with the Key Bridge.

After losing power on Tuesday morning, the Dali hit one of the bridge’s beams, causing much of the 1.6-mile-long bridge to collapse into the Patapsco River by downtown Baltimore.

Read more at Catholic News Agency 

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