Bishops pray for Catholic Congressman shot at baseball practice

By Mary Rezac

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Credit: Prath/Shutterstock.

Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, 51, was among multiple persons shot in an incident at a Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday morning.

Scalise, a Catholic, was shot at the hip and was transported to surgery. He is reportedly in stable condition.

“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone,” Scalise’s office said in a statement. “He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues.”

A bipartisan prayer took place on the field shortly after the scene was under control.

A total of five people were “medically transported” from the scene, according to authorities.

Shots were fired around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday morning while Republican lawmakers were practicing for Thursday's Congressional Baseball Game.

U.S. Capitol Police shot and apprehended the gunman, who was taken to the hospital. Alexandria Police tweeted that the “suspect is in custody and not a threat.”

Congressman Scalise is a Republican who was elected to represent Louisiana in 2008. Before running for Congress, he had served in the Louisiana state senate for four months and in the Louisiana House of Representatives for 12 years.
 
He is married to the former Jennifer Letulle and they have an 8 year-old daughter, Madison Carol and an 8 year-old, Harrison Joseph. 

Scalise is a life-long Catholic. He and his wife are members of the St. Agnes Catholic Church. Two years ago he tweeted a photo of his daughter’s first communion.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which started its Spring General Assembly this morning in Indianapolis, opened their conference with a prayer for the victims of the shooting as well as the victims of a massive apartment fire in London last night. USCCB Vice President Archbishop Jose Gomez gave the prayer, which was also posted to Twitter.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. also tweeted that he was praying for the congressman.
 
Roughly 15-25 people were at the practice, including Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. Paul told MSNBC that “it would have been a massacre” if Capitol Police weren't there.

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