In Canada, prayers, tears for victims of Humboldt Broncos tragedy
Crying, hugging and shaking their heads in grief, the people of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada, gathered at the local hockey arena on 8th April for an interfaith service to mourn 15 people who died after the bus carrying the town’s junior hockey team collided with a truck.
“I don’t want to be here, but it’s good that we are,” said the Rev. Sean Brandow, the Humboldt Broncos team chaplain and pastor of Humboldt Bible Church.
Rev. Brandow had gone to the accident site shortly after the collision.
“I walked up on a scene I never want to see again, to sounds I never want to hear again,” he said. “To hear groaning and panic and fear and confusion and pain…All I saw (that night) was darkness, and I had nothing. Nothing.
“I’m a pastor. I’m supposed to have something.
“I’ve received thousands of texts and even Scripture,” he said. “But I needed to hear from God.”
The 15 dead included 10 hockey players between the ages of 16 and 21, the team coach, radio broadcaster, bus driver and other team personnel. The accident occurred early in the evening on 6th April when a bus taking the team to a playoff hockey game collided with a transport truck on a highway near the town of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. Fourteen others on the bus were injured.
Police are investigating and have not provided any details about the cause of the collision. The bus was travelling north on a highway and passing through an intersection, which had stop signs for traffic traveling east and west. No charges have been filed.
Condolences poured into Humboldt from around the world, including messages from Pope Francis, Queen Elizabeth and US President Donald Trump. The Vatican secretary of state sent blessings on behalf of the pope.
“Informed of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the road traffic accident in the province of Saskatchewan involving young hockey players, His Holiness Pope Francis sends his condolences to those who have lost love ones, and commends the souls of the deceased to the mercy of almighty God. To all in the community at this difficult time, Pope Francis sends his blessing.”
Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen, whose diocese includes Humboldt, read the pope’s message during an afternoon service at Holy Family Cathedral in Saskatoon.
“We don’t know why tragedy and disaster come, but we do know the one who holds us throughout that tragedy, and we celebrate today that the one who holds us is one of mercy,” Bishop Hagemoen said during the service on Divine Mercy Sunday.
Bishop Hagemoen attended the evening prayer service at the Elgar Petersen Arena and Uniplex in Humboldt and offered a final blessing.
“Lord God, you are the light that illumines the darkness,” he prayed. “Continue to lead us into your light.”
Picture: Mourners pray during an 8th April vigil at Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, to honour members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team who were killed in a fatal bus accident. (CNS photo/Jonathan Hayward, Reuters).Tags: Canada, Hockey, Humboldt, Humboldt Broncos, Saskatchewan