A salute to Officer Scott Patrick

| August 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Catholics pay respects, offer reflections

St. Thomas Academy Cadets line up and salute as the hearse containing the body of Officer Scott Patrick passes by the Mendota Heights School Aug. 6 following the funeral. An earlier procession featured law enforcement officers and vehicles from around Minnesota, plus a few from Wisconsin. Although Officer Patrick was not Catholic, he was considered a friend of the school, and was a frequent visitor. Two of his fellow officers on the Mendota Heights police force are alums of the school, Sgt. Brian Convery and Officer Bobby Lambert. Officer Patrick was shot and killed during a traffic stop July 30.

St. Thomas Academy Cadets line up and salute as the hearse containing the body of Officer Scott Patrick passes by the Mendota Heights School Aug. 6 following the funeral. An earlier procession featured law enforcement officers and vehicles from around Minnesota, plus a few from Wisconsin. Although Officer Patrick was not Catholic, he was considered a friend of the school, and was a frequent visitor. Two of his fellow officers on the Mendota Heights police force are alums of the school, Sgt. Brian Convery and Officer Bobby Lambert. Officer Patrick was shot and killed during a traffic stop July 30.

Deacon John Vomastek:

“Much has been said about the law enforcement community being a tight-knit family, and I would say that this is very true.

You [saw] people, officers coming from all over the country to this funeral to pay their respects and to be together in this difficult time. I can’t help but remember when I was riding in the motorcade for the [St. Paul police officer] Ron Ryan Jr. funeral and the Tim Jones funeral [in 1994], the outpouring of community love and support that was shown to all of us. Simply, I was blown away. Young and old, they lined the route, waving flags, saluting, crying. It has been that way in those law enforcement funerals that would come after those as well. The community will be just as affected as the law enforcement family with this loss.

There really are no words to describe what has happened. I can only think of the battle that is taking place, that of good against evil. Police officers fight that battle every day. Police officers bring light into the darkness, order into chaos, care and service to those that can’t help themselves. They go into the void that we cannot, and their families support them as they go out the door, always with the risk of making what is termed the ‘ultimate sacrifice.’ Christ, too, made that sacrifice, and I can’t help but believe that to enter into his sacrifice, there is hope and healing. Today and the days to come will be tough days for our community, but we must gaze on the face of Christ. And as we live the paschal mystery, we know there will be a resurrection.”

Deacon Vomastek, director of the Office of Clergy Services for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, served on the St. Paul police force from March 1978 to August 2011.

Archbishop John Nienstedt:

“The untimely and unfortunate death of a police officer, especially one so revered as Officer Patrick, is a tragedy that resounds throughout our community. In the face of such events, we hold fast to our belief that God is still in charge of this world and will right every wrong.”

Rich Chapman:

“On two separate occasions, Officer Patrick came to our home in response to medical emergencies. He was strong, compassionate and comforting. The tribute given to him from our community is an affirmation of what kind of man he was. We will miss his bravery and commitment, and we are all now even more appreciative of the protection and care we receive at all times from all our police officers. Thanks and gratitude to Officer Patrick from our entire family.”

Chapman attends St. John Neumann in Eagan. Two of his daughters graduated from Visitation, one of his sons graduated from St. Thomas Academy, and the other son graduated from Cretin-Derham Hall.

Cody Packer, a member of Assumption in St. Paul and a student at Faithful Shepherd School in Eagan, shows his support for Officer Scott Patrick and police officers driving by in the funeral procession Aug. 6 in Mendota Heights. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Cody Packer, a member of Assumption in St. Paul and a student at Faithful Shepherd School in Eagan, shows his support for Officer Scott Patrick and police officers driving by in the funeral procession Aug. 6 in Mendota Heights. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Murphy Morrison:

“Officer Patrick’s work in the Mendota Heights Police Department extended beyond the streets, reaching far into the Mendota Heights School District as well.

Having graduated from the Convent of the Visitation myself and now living in Chicago, seeing images of the familiar Visitation and St. Thomas Academy uniforms lining Mendota Heights Road produced a powerful sentiment.

Over 100 Visitation students took their place in paying homage to a man deserving so much more. Not only will Officer Patrick’s presence undoubtedly be missed within the larger community, but also within the schools.

Officer Patrick, along with his fellow police officers, remains near and dear to the Visitation community. Their aid in securing Code Red safety procedures within the school and responding to any emergency related call throughout the years proves unwavering. Officer Patrick’s commitment will forever be appreciated.”

Morrison graduated from Convent of the Visitation School in Mendota Heights in 2010. Her home parish is Assumption in St. Paul.

Matt Mohs:

“Officer Patrick was part of our school community; he attended games and other events and was present to us throughout his career. Although I never met Officer Patrick personally, I knew that his murder was a significant event that required a communal response and a demonstration of support.

As a resident of Mendota Heights who has benefited from the protections afforded by his service and that of his colleagues, I wanted to pay my respects. The fact that two of my classmates are currently on the Mendota Heights police force made it even more important to me personally. In their time of grief, I wanted to make sure that they knew their extended community was there for them as well.

As headmaster of Saint Thomas Academy, I recognized the importance for our community to show up, stand in solidarity with those who serve and those who lost a father, husband, friend, relative and colleague. Our school graduates many young men who have gone on to serve honorably as first responders or in the armed forces. I wanted our current students to recognize the sacrifice and dangers that a number of our graduates willingly accept on a daily basis to serve our communities.”

Mohs, headmaster at STA, is a member of St.Thomas More in St. Paul.

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