DALLAS - A number of North Texas Catholics attended Easter services at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in downtown Dallas Sunday morning.
Hundreds of churchgoers filled the seats, but at the same time, news of the tragic events in Sri Lanka was still coming in, with many just finding out about the hundreds who were killed.
“Heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking,” said Blair Kohlman. “It's so sad still to this day humans can hurt other humans no matter what the reason, they can hurt each other. It's really sad.”
The tragic events come after a challenging week of two significant incidents involving famous cathedrals.
Last week, the world watched as the Cathedral of Notre Dame went up in flames, with an accidental fire devastating the roughly 850-year-old historic cathedral.
Days later, New York police arrested a man trying to enter Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan with gas cans and lighter fluid.
But on Easter Sunday, churchgoers found comfort, hope, and faith in community.
“We have each other. We should not be turning on each other. The lord is there, even in the worst of things, and sometimes, well maybe all the time if you believe, something good will come of it if you pray for it,” said Mary Niccrone.
“These terrible things that happened are a sign we have work to do, that the message of Jesus is powerful, but each person has to bring that message wherever they are,” said Father Stephen Bierschenk, with Guadalupe Cathedral.
Recent events are a reminder about security, as churches work to protect against possible similar threats.
But church officials at Cathedral Guadalupe say they've been increasing security for years, having officers keep an eye outside every Sunday, and training ushers to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.
Choosing not to focus on the violence in recent news, but instead having faith in the true message of Easter to get through.
“The message is Jesus is alive, that the tomb is empty, He is with us every day, guiding us, inspiring us, helping us in times of trouble,” Father Bierschenk added.
“Having faith. We're a church, and if we lose faith, then what do we have?” Mike Forti asked.
Condolences for Sri Lanka are already pouring in from dignitaries and public officials around the world.
President Donald Trump tweeted in support of the victims, saying the United States stands ready to help.
138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019