Archbishop Aquila ‘deeply saddened’ by deadly Boulder shooting; slain officer called a ‘soldier for Christ’

Denver Catholic Staff

On March 22, 2021, 10 people were killed during a shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado. The following is a statement from Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila:

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden deaths of 10 people yesterday afternoon in the shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder. I have been praying for all those impacted by this senseless act of violence and want to express my spiritual closeness to them.

Along with the rest of the community, we are waiting for more details on those who have passed away. We do know that Officer Eric Talley was Catholic, and has been described as a man of character and strong faith, a loving father to seven children, a husband who cared deeply for his family, and a soldier for Christ. My prayers and those of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Denver are with the Talley Family and all who have died.

We also know that Officer Talley regularly stopped by St. Martin de Porres in Boulder and participated in its events, even though he wasn’t a parishioner there.  For those unfamiliar with the area where the shooting occurred, St. Martin de Porres is just across the street from King Soopers. St. Martin de Porres, the patron of the parish, was someone who experienced tragedy and hardship in his life, and so, we ask for his intercession in these difficult circumstances, that God would bring good out of this great evil.

While we still do not know what led up to this terrible event, incidents like this have become far too common in our country and our state. We must work to promote deeper conversion of hearts so that our lives are characterized by the virtue of charity, which allows us to love God and our neighbor, strengthening the fabric of society and preventing senseless acts of violence such as this one.”

Officer Talley’s funeral to be livestreamed

A livestream will be available for anyone interested in viewing the Catholic funeral Mass for Officer Eric Talley on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12 p.m. The Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Denver, and seating will be limited due to COVID restrictions. The family has requested that they not be shown during the livestream of the Mass, and media will be restricted from the Mass. The Mass will be a Solemn High Requiem Mass celebrated by Father Dan Nolan, FSSP, and other priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila will be in attendance.

Click here to watch the livestream.


Photo: Officer Eric Talley is pictured with Father Joseph Tran at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Parish in Boulder in 2016. (Photo provided)

COMING UP: From rare books to online resources, archdiocesan library has long history of service to students

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National Library Week, observed this year from April 4 to April 10, is the perfect occasion to highlight the essential role of libraries and library staff in strengthening our communities – and our very own Cardinal Stafford Library at the Archdiocese of Denver is no exception.  

Since 1932, the library has served as a religious, intellectual, and cultural resource for seminarians and students at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver.

As the library of the seminary, we are always responsible for the four dimensions of the priestly formation of our seminarians. The library is charged with being responsible to all the divisions of the Seminary: the Lay Division (Catholic Biblical School and Catholic Catechetical School), the Permanent Deacon Formation Division, and the Priestly Formation Division, said Stephen Sweeney, Library Director. 

In addition to being one of the main resources to the seminary, the Cardinal Stafford Library serves the needs of other educational programs in the Archdiocese of Denver, including the St. Francis School for Deacons, the Biblical School, the Catechetical School and the Augustine Institute. While the library is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was previously open to anyone, giving people access to more than 150,000 books, audios, and videos. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library was named after Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, Apostolic Penitentiary at the Vatican and former Archbishop of Denver from 1986 to 1996. He was a dedicated advocate of the library and of Catholic education.

In 1932, the library was established by two seminarians, Maurice Helmann and Barry Wogan. While they were not the first seminarians to conceive the idea of establishing a library, they are considered the founders for undertaking its organization.  

Since its founding, the library has grown and compiled a fine collection of resources on Catholic theology, Church history, biblical studies, liturgy, canon law, religious art, philosophy, and literature. Special collections include over 500 rare books dating back to the early 16th century and many periodicals dating back to the 1800s. The oldest publication in the library is a book on excommunication published in 1510. The Cardinal Stafford Library is also home to various relics and holds bills personally written by some of those saints.  

Over the past few years, the library has undergone a process of beautification through various renovations that include improvements in lighting, flooring, and even furniture restoration. During these difficult times, libraries are doing their best to adapt to our changing world by expanding their digital resources to reach those who don’t have access to them from home. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library provides a community space; we subscribe to about 200 print journals and have access to literally thousands more through online resources available on campus computers, Sweeney added. “I have been the Library Director for almost 11 years. I absolutely love my work, especially participating in the intellectual formation of the faithful from all of the dioceses we serve”.  

For more information on the Cardinal Stafford Library, visit: sjvdenver.edu/library 

Featured photo by Andrew Wright