Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
The Yale Daily News reports here about the funeral Mass celebrated yesterday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in El Dorado, Calif., for Annie Le, the 24-year-old doctoral student who was murdered two weeks ago in her Yale research lab.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Before the service started, Monsignor James Kidder, the church’s pastor, described meeting Le for the first time as a child and recalled her big smile, which stood out in a crowd of children.
“The family is hoping this day and this ceremony will be a real moment, not just in the sense of putting Annie away, but in the sense of reconciling,” he said.
During the service, Kidder spoke about Le’s connection to Jesus in her life and death and her emotional dedication to her chosen field of medicine. He cited her care of the sick and her volunteer work at Marshall Hospital in El Dorado County.
“[She had] a heart that led her to say she wanted to do the best and be the best, to keep people from having their lives cut short,” Kidder said. “Ironic, isn’t it, that her life was cut short?”
After three Biblical passages chosen by Le’s family — from Job, Paul to the Corinthians and Matthew — were read in both Vietnamese and English, Kidder and the other religious leaders present led the guests in a traditional Catholic Eucharist.
The bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, Jaime Soto, referenced the violent nature of Le’s death. An autopsy report concluded that Le had been strangled.
“We do not let cruelty or violence own the sorrow,” Soto said. “We let love own the sorrow. It was Annie’s love for her family and friends, for her fiancé, that give us such sorrow, as well as our love for her.”
As the service concluded with the hymn “Be Not Afraid,” the guests filed out of the white-walled church. Outside, Le’s mother wept.