Tonight, Father Joseph Terra will say one of the most difficult Masses in his 26 years as a priest.
The Latin words will roll off his tongue the way they always do. But the words he says in English about his friend and fellow priest, Father Kenneth Walker, will not come as easily.
Those words will likely touch on familiar themes, like love, forgiveness, repentance, redemption and grace.
These are not abstract concepts to Terra. They are things he has had a year to think about.
For it was a year ago today that the unthinkable happened. Two men of God were attacked in the quarters they shared next to the church they served in the shadow of the state Capitol.
Now, Terra has returned to serve Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission, the church he helped rebuild with his own hands. But the Mass he says tonight will be a requiem for the dead. A requiem for Walker.
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|Fr. Terra with the marks from the assault.|