Take Back the Site Virtual Vigil

Take Back the Site Virtual Vigil

The Sisters of St. Joseph, Sisters of Mercy and Benedictine Sisters of Erie announce that the Take Back the Site Vigils for victims of homicides in Erie will resume, virtually, in November.

The 20-minute prayer service video will remember the first six victims who died in Erie since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020: Daniel Galvin, March 8, Wendy Knepper, March 9, Khalil Reynolds April 14, Deltwan Keyes and Donta Carson, August 3, and Jacob Carr, August 29. Four other homicide victims since late August, will be honored in a second Take Back the Site vigil in weeks to come.

The sisters of the sponsoring communities will be gathering for the service in their respective community chapels on Monday, November 16 at 7:00 p.m. The video is here. Please join in prayer with us.

“The pandemic has prevented us from gathering at each site to reclaim it for nonviolence and to surround the families and friends and neighbors of victims of violence in prayer,” said Sister Mary Drexler, SSJ. “We also pray for those charged with the crime and their loved ones.”

Sister Stephanie Schmidt, OSB, noted, “We are concerned by the recent increase in murders and ask the greater community to join us in this prayer upholding nonviolence in our city.”
Through October 2020, there have been 11 victims of homicides in Erie, compared to seven for the same months in 2019.

"It is important to note that violence does not go away during the pandemic, and we must continue to hold its victims in prayer, light and love," said Sister Natalie Rossi, RSM.

Over 140 people in Erie have been remembered in prayer since the Take Back the Site prayer vigils began in November 1999.