The Archdiocese of Portland issued a statement after the May 24 shootings that left 19 children and two teachers dead at a public school in the border town of Uvalde, Texas.

“In this moment of unthinkable grief as a nation, we join our community in mourning the heartbreaking and senseless loss of lives at Robb Elementary School,” the archdiocese said. “We pray that God will offer peace, comfort, and courage to each of the families affected by this tragedy.”

Ten days prior, a gunman fueled by racism killed 10 shoppers at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. Most victims were Black.

The Knights of Peter Claver, the historically Black Catholic fraternal-service association with a chapter in Portland, offered a statement.

“We pray for all victims and survivors impacted by the sin of racism,” the Knights of Peter Claver said. “We must even pray that those entrapped by this sinful nature be released from its oppressing hand.”

The Knights especially prayed for families and friends of the victims and for those injured.

“While the vast majority easily see and understand how horrific this act of evil is, too few acknowledge and accept the everyday contributing factors that keep leading to these tragic outcomes,” the Knights said, explaining that racism defies Christian and pro-life values.

“Racism and hatred are tools used by the Devil in an attempt to separate the People of God from his love,” the statement said. “God did not create us to be superior or inferior; nor master or slave to one another. He created us in his image and likeness to love and be loved by one another.”

More than 250 mass shootings have taken place in the U.S. this year, including at a Catholic hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in which a shooter killed four people June 1.