Friday, March 1, 2013

Lent Day 17: A Terrible Tragedy....

Dear Coffee Talkers,

It is with a very saddened and heavy heart that I write tonight about the sudden and accidental death of a long-time family friend, and co-worker at the church, Kevin Olin. There is so much I want to say to honor him, but I can't really sort out my thoughts right now. One of my friends, who works for our local paper, asked if I wanted to say anything about him to contribute to an article, so for now I'll just re-post what I sent to her. (Also, click here for the article about the terrible accident.) Please say a prayer for the repose of his soul, and for his family and friends. Also, pray for the person who hit him while he was riding his bike.
I have known Kevin Olin since I was a little girl growing up at Our lady of the Desert Catholic Church in Apple Valley, where Kevin worked since the church's early days. Kevin was a good friend to me and my family, and I believe that the work I am doing now (as a director of music and liturgy at Holy Innocents Church in Victorville) is in large part due to Kevin's help and encouragement. When I was in sixth grade, Kevin allowed me to play clarinet with the church choir he led, and I have been involved in music ministry ever since.
Kevin's official job at Our Lady of the Desert (where I had the great pleasure of working with him for the last few years) was as the maintenance director, but he did so many different jobs and lots of hidden work, too. I once told him that if he ever retired from his work at the church, I would not know what to do, and compared it to the end of the Papacy of John Paul II, who had been Pope my whole life.
Kevin had a wonderful sense of humor, but was also very serious about his faith, his care for his family, and his passion for environmental issues and social justice. He headed up the annual Fair Trade Market at Our Lady of the Desert, and was instrumental in getting the solar panels installed at Our Lady of the Desert Church.
Kevin also rode his bike regularly, as a form of exercise and care for the environment. And while I am so saddened and shocked by his death (I just saw him yesterday at the church), I sincerely believe that he would also want mercy for the person who accidentally hit him. Kevin's Catholic faith was the foundation of everything he did and believed, and I think that he would want the person who hit him to have a chance at forgiveness and peace with God.
Kevin Olin is truly one of the most influential and admired people in my life, and I can honestly say what a huge loss his death is to our Catholic community and to the world at large. Still, with faith we hold hope that Kevin is at peace, and that we will someday be reunited again.
As always, thanks for stopping by, and be assured of my prayers.

Peace and all good,

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