NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered Sunday to reflect on the lives lost in Charleston, CBS2’s Steve Langford reported.

From the Church of St Joseph in Garden City to the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn, there is no denying the despair of what happened.

“I feel as if we’re going back in time and that’s a terrible thing,” said one worshiper.

“We just pray for healing and we pray for hope in the future and pray for an end to bitterness and division.”

Monsignor James Swiader says his message to his congregation about the Charleston massacre evoked a hauntingly somber response.

Reverend Doctor Herbert Daughtry vows the killings in South Carolina will prove to be a watershed moment for change.

“Let us all hope and pray that this moment might be the moment that will ignite the kind of unity and respect across racial and religious lines that would bring this country together and be all that it can be.”

His congregants have lived many lifetimes of such hope and hopelessness, Langford reported.

Back on Long Island, some express a certain bleak realization that we are all Charleston.

“We feel somewhat remote from an incident like that but we’re not removed from it wherever we are.”