Highland Park

Church Community Leads Vigil and Walk to Honor Highland Park Shooting Victims

Days following the mass shooting at Highland Park's Fourth of July parade, dozens of community members took part in a vigil to remember the seven people who were killed when a gunman opened fire.

Parishioners of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church gathered in silence and worship as they headed into downtown, where the shooting occurred.

Rev. Hernan Cuevas, pastor of the united parish of Immaculate Conception an d St. James, who was recently appointed, began with the faith community a week ago.

On his fourth day as pastor, tragedy struck.

"It was a challenge," he stated. "Because I was obviously looking forward to this opportunity to be together."

The pastor and church members shared photos of them with the float they had decorated for Monday's parade.

"It never did get used," said Tom Genest.

"We moved actually with our float, and I saw the parishioners getting to know each other, talking to each other, welcoming one another, that was so beautiful... then this tragic took place, and we just went into the idea of surviving and running," Cuevas said.

Five days later, the group marched bravely back into downtown Highland Park.

"I see God's grace in the midst of this difficult time and in the midst of the suffering among our community," said Cuevas.

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