Homicide vigils continue monthly

In 1994, Precious Blood Sisters first began coordinating prayer vigils at sites where homicides had occurred in the Dayton area. Following a hiatus of several years, in 2006 an ecumenical group — again led by the Precious Blood Sisters — resumed the work of this ministry.

Beginning in October 2022, our approach to homicide vigils has changed. The mission — belief in the preciousness of all life, public witness to that belief, and presence in the community — has not changed. The format of how we go about this is now slightly different.

Vigils are now held on a monthly basis at a consistent time and place. While holding vigils close to the time of a homicide and within specific neighborhoods was a blessing, attendance had begun to lessen for prayer members, family members and neighbors. COVID prevented gatherings, and we opted for monthly email notifications and prayer. After consulting with prayer leaders and others who share a belief in the value of the vigils, a decision was made based on the preciousness of all life, public witness and presence. It is our hope that holding the vigils in a more central location and at a consistent time will encourage people throughout our community to join in prayer.

Vigils are now held at noon on the second Saturday of the month at McIntosh Park, 888 Riverview Avenue in Dayton. (McIntosh Park is near the Peace Bridge.)

We are also expanding our vigils to include violence throughout Montgomery County, Ohio. Violence is an issue not just in a few neighborhoods; it is a community epidemic. Let us come together as a community to realize that violence affects all of us and, together, we can make a difference.

— Story by Sister Jeanette Buehler

Homicide vigil at McIntosh Park, October 2022; Michelle Bodine photo

God of life, source of hope,
the violence within our world,
our communities,
our families, indeed our very selves,
is destroying your creation.
In union with the Precious
Blood of Jesus,
give us the strength to break
the cycle of violence,
to hear the cry of the blood,
and make sacred again your
earth stained by blood.

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