Hoping to start the healing after Oikos tragedy

April 10, 2012 1:10:01 PM PDT
Religious groups across the Bay Area paid their respects to the Oikos University massacre victims Sunday.

For the last six days, Oikos University has been the epicenter of lots of pain and despair.

The massacre reached into several communities across the East Bay, and because nearly everyone involved is an immigrant, it also reached into communities around the world.

On Sunday, pastors of different congregations hoped to start the healing.

According to the Tibetan Association of Northern California, they held a Sunday funeral for 33-year-old Sonam Choedon

She was among the people who were gunned down last week when One Goh opened fire in a classroom inside Oikos University.

The seven victims -- people who came from around the world to live in the Bay Area -- have been honored throughout the week with a series of memorials conducted by several denominations and faiths.

"It was an international community, so it was a worldwide thing that was being telecast across the world, this message, this tragedy," said Rev. David Kitely of Shiloh Christian Fellowship Church.

Each year Shiloh Christian Fellowship in Oakland stages a special Easter Sunday production. This year, woven into the message of the classic Biblical tale, was some reflection on the Oikos tragedy.

"People find their commonality, and their common humanity, and they begin to know that they truly are their brother's keeper, and that people do care, Kitely said.

At Saint Felicitas Catholic Church in San Leandro, Father Jayson Landeza included the mass murder at Oikos University in his Easter Sunday message.

"I think you're going to have -- at some level, if you're either a pastor in Oakland or the East Bay, it's important, you have to make reference to that," he said.

As chaplain for the Oakland Police and Fire Department, he was on the ground Monday, helping with the emergency response. He's still taken aback by the tragedy.

There were a number of other special commemorations and services throughout the East Bay. Some were open to the public, while others were open only to their communities.

At Oikos University, the campus will remain closed through spring break. But a series of musical memorials will continue.

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