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Student Remembers Help She Received From Bishop David O'Connell

On Wednesday night in Hacienda Heights the St. John Vianney Church will host a memorial mass for Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell.

This comes less than two weeks after he was shot and killed at his home. The sheriff’s office made a quick arrest, but now the focus on remembering a man who made a tremendous impact in Southern California and beyond.

Bishop O’Connell was known in the church as Bishop Dave. He was born in Ireland and became Auxiliary Bishop of LA in 2015. During his time here he made a difference in many lives especially with for one woman.

Kaithlyn Luna says she wouldn’t be where she is today without Bishop O’Connell.

“He played a big role in my life,” Luna said.

Luna was born in Nicaragua and moved to the U.S. in the eighth grade and she instantly knew where she wanted to attend high school.

“For me it was a dram to be in a Catholic school, not only for a really good education but also because of my faith,” Luna said. “So many people we can’t afford to be there and he was a person who said ‘I’m going to help you.’”

Bishop Dave as he was known, not only helped her get accepted to Downey’s St. Pius X St. Matthias Academy he helped pay her tuition too.

“He didn’t even know me when I get here, he just says yes to help me,” Luna said.

It’s for reasons like that why it’s been so hard to make sense of his murder.

“It was really sad actually,” Luna said. “Why does a person feel like ‘oh I hate you, I’m going to kill you.’”

She said she’s often asked why this happened to a kind, generous and faithful man. She also said she knows how Bishop Dave would respond, he’s pray for his killer.

“I think his heart was no space for hate,” Luna said. “I think he was that type of man that will always love. Love and peace first.”

Luna is now a criminology student at the University of La Verne and moving forward she says she’ll be thinking of everyone involved.

“Pray for him and pray for these type of people in the world,” Luna said.

It’s clear she has a heart for all of us just like Bishop Dave. He really made an impact on a lot of lives.

There is expected to be a lot of mourners at the mass and there will be more prayer services over the next few days. His funeral will take place at the Cathedral in Los Angeles on Friday at 11 a.m.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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