El Salvador's first cardinal brings message to Brentwood

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BRENTWOOD -

El Salvador's first Catholic cardinal is on Long Island, and he brings with him a message for Brentwood -- a community hit hard by MS-13's terror.

Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez will celebrate Mass Saturday night at Saint Anne's Parish in Brentwood.

Saint Anne's Church in Brentwood is expected to be packed for the cardinal's visit. The cardinal told News 12 Long Island that he would not preach to people but rather he would listen and comfort.

“It’s a great suffering that these people have been through,” he said through a translator. “You have to be there, listen, accompany, learn from them, be willing to walk with them.”

Chavez also spoke about MS-13 gang violence in El Salvador, saying their strong police response there is not working.

“These gang members are like encaged wild beasts, they become even more violent,” he said.

Cardinal Chavez said he doesn't know what the solution is but that it's a societal one.

“The key is in the family,” he said. “Work with the families, and also to give them opportunities, in a context that allows them to truly be good people.”

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