Honoring Saints and Souls – Madison Catholic Herald

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Bro. Tom Coyle, Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Jefferson, blesses a memorial stone for Kena Eighmy, a former student of St. John the Baptist School in Jefferson who died in 2019 after a battle with leukemia. Her father, Jay, holds the stone next to Kena’s mother, Tricia, and her brother, Hayden. (photo contributed)

JEFFERSON – The faith community of St. Francis of Assisi Parish and St. John the Baptist School (SJB) in Jefferson came together to remember and honor a special disciple of Christ and several saints chosen by individual classes .

Remember Kena

On October 27, a mass was offered to celebrate the life of an SJB graduate who lost her battle with leukemia in 2019.

Kena Eighmy would have turned 17 on October 27 and, as a cherished member of the school and parish community, prayers were offered for her and her family.

Bro. Tom Coyle, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish, led the congregation in prayer and blessing for Kena, whose courage and faith inspired many years of cancer struggle.

She was first diagnosed during the summer between fourth and fifth grades and lost the battle in September of what would have been her freshman year in high school.

Kena’s doctors called her a “brave heroine” who willingly agreed to participate in trials of new leukemia treatments, even though there was no guarantee it would cure her.

She paved the way for others to benefit from the trials and did it for that reason.

Her faith supported her and her family throughout her suffering, remission and relapse.

As a follower of Christ, she put the needs of others before herself and comforted those who mourned her suffering.
In addition to a tree planted in front of the school in her honor last year, the school community dedicated a memorial which was placed under Kena’s tree after mass.

Father Tom blessed the memorial stone and his father then placed it under the flowering tree.

Celebrate the saints

Five days later, the school community gathered to celebrate All Saints’ Day with the traditional presentation of the saints at school mass.

Class representatives shared posters of their chosen class saint for the school year as well as information about the saint and how they are inspired by the saints to be better disciples of Jesus.


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