Mother of Nickel Mines shooter to speak at St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church in Springfield Township is hosting a special guest this Sunday — Terri Roberts, whose son, Charles Carl Roberts, carried out the shootings at the Nickel Mines Amish school house.

The Rev. Tom Beck told me about the visit in an email: “Since the day of the tragedy, the Amish community reached out to her and the family in love, care, and compassion.

A member of the fire police directs vehicles – including Amish buggies – in Bart Township, Lancaster County, near the scene of the October 2006 schoolhouse shooting, and also near the home of shooter Charles Carl Roberts IV. (York Daily Record file photo)

“Even though it’s been six years since the incident, the Roberts family and
those Amish families affected by the shooting continue to meet on a regular
basis.”

If you aren’t families with the story, read about it here.

Hard to believe it’s been over six years since that Oct. 2, 2006 day when Charles Carl Roberts IV shot 10 Amish schoolgirls before turning the gun on himself. Five girls died. Five others were seriously wounded.

Since the shooting, the Amish community has rallied around the Roberts in a remarkable display of compassion as the quiet Christian sect embraced the Roberts family and strove to forgive its troubled sinner.

Terri Roberts has returned that compassion, meeting weekly at the bedside of her son’s most damaged, living victim — a paralyzed schoolgirl, now 11.

Her talk this week will focus on issues of forgiveness, love, care, and compassion.

A pretty remarkable story, and I look forward to reading what we report for next Monday’s paper. I am not sure I would be capable of such forgiveness in this situation.

Would you?

St. Peter’s is located at 1708 Seitzville Road. The event is open to the public.

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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