Days after the mass shooting during the July 4 parade in Highland Park, dozens of community members took part in a vigil to remember the seven people who were killed when a gunman opened fire.
Parishioners of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church gathered in silence and worship as they made their way downtown, where the shooting took place.
Reverend Hernan Cuevas, the newly appointed parish priest of the Immaculate Conception and St. James United Parish, started with the community of faith a week ago.
On his fourth day as pastor, tragedy struck.
“It was a challenge,” he said. “Because I was obviously looking forward to this opportunity to be together.”
The pastor and church members shared photos of themselves with the float they decorated for Monday’s parade.
“He never got used to it,” said Tom Genest.
“We actually moved with our float, and I saw the parishioners get to know each other, talk to each other, greet each other, it was so beautiful… then this tragedy took place, and we just launched with the idea of surviving and running,” Cuevas said.
Five days later, the group bravely returned to downtown Highland Park.
“I see the grace of God in the midst of this difficult time and in the midst of the suffering of our community,” Cuevas said.