Easter Sunday, a day of joy and celebration for Christians around the world, became another occasion for the senseless violence and death caused by terrorists in Sri Lanka. The nearly simultaneous first six blasts Sunday morning toppled ceilings and blew out windows at a famous Catholic church in Colombo, the capital, and at three luxury hotels in the city. The other two occurred at St. Sebastian Catholic church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo where footage showed people dragging the injured out of blood-splattered pews, and at the Protestant Zion church in the eastern town of Batticaloa. Three police officers were killed while conducting a search operation at a suspected safe house in Dematagoda, on the outskirts of Colombo, where the last of eight blasts took place. Nearly 300 people have lost their lives. Our hearts go out to the victims who lost their lives, to their families, to all who have been wounded, and to everyone who struggles to makes sense of this horrendous attack. The right to freely practice our faith and the ability to gather peacefully and safely in our Churches to celebrate that faith are rights that can never be taken away from us. I raise my voice with that of all people of good will in condemning these acts of terrorism. This evil cannot overcome the hope found in our Savior’s Resurrection which these innocent victims came to Easter Mass and services to proclaim and to celebrate. May the God of hope who has raised his Son from the dead, fill all hearts with the desire for peace and give us the courage to work for that peace in every way possible.