PHOENIX — A 28-year-old priest was shot and killed, and another priest was critically wounded, at a Catholic church in Phoenix Wednesday night.
The Diocese of Phoenix released a statement early Thursday morning identifying the slain priest as Father Kenneth Walker, the associate pastor at the Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission located near the Arizona State Capitol.
The pastor, Father Joseph Terra, 56, is in critical but stable condition. Both priests belong to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
“We are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assault perpetrated last night against Father Joseph Terra and Father Kenneth Walker,” the statement said. “We ask that people offer prayers for both priests, the religious community, their families and the parish.”
Police responded to a burglary call from Father Terra shortly after 9pm at 16th Avenue and Monroe Street at the Mater Misericordiae Mission, according to Arizona Central.
“Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace,” the diocese said.
Requiem Masses will be offered for Father Walker on Monday, June 16.