St. Rose of Lima Church and U.S. Cellular Field are separated by four states and 850 miles. One sits on a winding road in the type of quaint New England town where a bake sale typically qualifies as news. The other rests in a section of Chicago that was gritty enough to be immortalized in a Jim Croce song.

On a bitterly cold and blindingly sunny day in Newtown, Conn., the two venues are tethered by human suffering, the challenge of moving beyond tragedy through compassion, and the efforts of a young big league pitcher to bridge the gap between the two.