In the wake of the Harlem shooting that left an NYPD officer dead and one critically wounded, Cardinal Dolan visited the injured officer at Harlem Hospital to pray at his bedside and console the officer's loved ones. The wounded officer succumbed to his injuries three days after the cardinal’s visit.
Officer Jason Rivera, 22, died in the line of duty Jan. 21. Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, died Jan. 25 at NYU Langone Medical Center, where he had been transferred from Harlem Hospital. The shooting suspect, Lashawn McNeil, 47, died from his wounds Jan. 24.
The wake for Rivera is set for Thursday, Jan. 27, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Funeral Mass is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 28 at the cathedral.
The wake for Mora is set for Tuesday, Feb. 1, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral from 1 to 8 p.m.
The Funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, at the cathedral.
Mora and Rivera were responding to a nighttime domestic disturbance at an apartment after McNeil’s mother called 911 for help during an argument with her son. That’s when McNeil allegedly shot the two officers, and then a third responding officer shot McNeil, police said.
Cardinal Dolan’s hospital visit and blessing of Officer Mora occurred Jan. 22, the day after the tragic incident.
“It’s very grim, because he is in critical condition; so there’s a lot of sadness,” the cardinal told reporters outside Harlem Hospital after the visit, adding that on the other hand, there is “the light of faith and hope, and the genuine embrace of love and tenderness and solicitude that the police department, the family and friends give when they rally around” in a time of sadness.
He added, “And so it’s always kind of a combination of that darkness and light. It’s always that combination of sadness and hope, discouragement and trust…I came because I’m a pastor. These two officers are Catholics, they’re members of my spiritual family, the Church. I’d come anyway, because I try my best to be a pastor to everybody. And like I said, all faiths, all neighborhoods, all groups come together at a moment like this.”
In response to a reporter’s question, the cardinal said Mora was “not conscious.”
The cardinal also visited Rivera’s family.
During the 10:15 a.m. Sunday Mass at the cathedral Jan. 23, Cardinal Dolan prayerfully addressed the tragic shooting.
In the meantime, Mayor Eric Adams has announced a multipart plan to combat gun violence.
Father Felix Reyes C.R.L., pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and St. Jude parishes, both in the Inwood section of Manhattan, visited the Rivera family Jan. 23 to provide pastoral support and spiritual guidance. The family members attend Mass at both churches. Father Reyes said that inside the officer’s parents’ apartment were the mother and father, his older brother and relatives and friends.
With Father Reyes was Father Thomas Faiola, O.F.M. Cap., pastor of Good Shepherd parish in Inwood. Both priests prayed with the distraught family. That evening, three nuns who live in a convent at St. Jude visited the family and prayed the Rosary with them.
“The family was immensely grateful,” Father Reyes told CNY in a phone interview. “They were hurting, they were distraught…We told the parents that we celebrated Mass that morning for their son, and for peace in the city. We told them we were there for them in the name of the Lord, to accompany them, to let them know they are not alone.”