By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
Ward and Pam Weber are members of a group that no parent wants to join — the victim’s family member group.
Their son, Doug, was a victim of gun violence earlier this year. He was 37 years old when he and two others were shot in a home in southern Louisville on Feb. 13.
The Webers shared their grief and sorrow at an interfaith Service of Remembrance Dec. 7, held in the Hines Center of St. Augustine Church in West Louisville.
There have been more than 114 homicides in Louisville this year, making it the deadliest year in the River City since at least 1960, the first year included in Louisville Metro Police homicide records, according to the Courier-Journal.
Deacon James Turner, administrator of St. Augustine, welcomed more than 150 people to the service and said those gathered did so in solidarity with the victims and their families.
“We gather from many religions, political positions, racial and economic backgrounds to call upon the master … to bring peace,” he said. “We are here to seek God’s help and heed his will.
“We are here to remember our sisters and brothers that have gone before us and to seek God’s help to bring peace and justice to our city,” Deacon Turner said.
Father John Burke, pastor of Good Shepherd Church, introduced the Webers and said testimony such as theirs is important because “it goes beyond the names of the dead” and shows the “impact that someone’s death has on their families.”
Pam Weber said she was grateful for the opportunity to talk about her son and her family’s grief because, she said, she believes “healing comes from community.”
The Webers, who attend Sacred Heart Church in Jeffersonville, Ind., expressed deep sorrow over the loss of their son but said God had not abandoned them.
“Without God’s presence in our lives, I’m not sure where we’d be,” Pam Weber said.
She also said that as part of the grieving process, she’s dealt with her fair share of anger. But she couldn’t let the hatred take hold of her, she said.
“After prayer, I decided I cannot allow anger to consume my life. … I will not allow anger to consume me to have even more taken away,” she said.
Following the Webers’ testimony, individuals read the names of those who had been killed in Louisville as of early December. Candles were also lit in remembrance of these victims.
The program closed with the singing of “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and an exchange of the sign of peace.
The Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Multicultural Ministry and the Region One Catholic Coalition (ROCC) sponsored the service. ROCC is comprised of St. Augustine, Christ the King, Good Shepherd, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Martin de Porres and St. William parishes.