An hour for each victim



Left: surrounded by photos of victims, Father Michael McCue, part time parochial vicar at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden, leads those gathered in prayer during a vigil for the city’s homicide victims. Right: a scroll containing the victims’ names stretches out past the altar.

Photos by Alan M. Dumoff, more photos

For 60 consecutive hours, the 67 homicide victims of Camden in 2012 were recalled in a prayer vigil at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

The vigil began at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28, with Joram Wise, who was killed on Jan. 9, 2012, being remembered. Each hour thereafter, a different victim was prayed for at the public vigil.

During the final hour, which began at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, the most recent eight victims were remembered.

In front of the church altar, a long scroll of paper contained the handwritten names of the 67 homicide victims, a Camden record.

Atop pews were candles and papers with the names of the victims, and when he or she died.

With the candles were the wooden crosses — each one with the name of a murder victim  — that had been staked in the ground of Roosevelt Plaza adjacent to Camden City Hall for weeks.

The crosses had been planted by parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua Parish and Stop Trauma on People, an anti-violence group.

The prayer vigil at the cathedral has been taking place every year since 1995. It was initiated by Sister Helen Cole, executive director of Guadalupe Family Services.