North Texas faith community reflects on safety after mass shooting

Sunday School director Ann Montgomery is comforted during a candlelight vigil held across the street from the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Spring, Texas, on November 5, 2017. (Photo: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
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Even with the enormity of the loss in Sutherland Springs on Sunday still difficult to process, members of North Texas' faith community were sharing their grief.

Bishop Edward Burns is the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Dallas and told WFAA the still unfolding tragedy is top of mind.

“The anxiety hopefully will not be paralyzing, we won’t be a people who constantly live in fear," Burns said. “To think that such evil and terror truly impacts a community of love and peace, there’s a dichotomy there that leaves you speechless.”

Burns participated in an interfaith forum on Sunday at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Farmers Branch.  He was joined by other clergy and members of law enforcement discussing mostly issues dealing with immigration and the need for the community to report crime.

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The church was filled to capacity with more than 1000 in attendance.

“I think it’s important for us to be alert and important for us to be aware of people around us," Burns said.

John Matthews is a security expert who founded Community Safety Initiative which stresses pro active training in case of a shooting incident.

The former Dallas PD officer says the amount of shootings has increased by more than 200-percent in the last decade compared to when he began studying the issue in the 1980's.

"Whether you talk about Pulse in Orlando, Las Vegas last month or today, the numbers are very dramatic in the people that we’re losing," Matthews said.

Matthews focus now is on what he terms "situational awareness" training - learning where you could escape both indoors our outside - and if the situation warrants - to just run.

"The goal is to it in a way that you’re imparting information that’s going to keep them alive – no different than CPR training or fire drill training," Matthews said.