This has been a difficult thing for many of us on the forum- but I can't even begin to imagine the suffering of his family and friends. All our prayers are with them at this time.
From Regina Doman's blog:
Marc Girard, 18, looked like your ordinary Catholic teenager. But he wasRead the rest here.
He had a Facebook page. He was a part of the Fairy Tale Novel Forum
(even though, like most guys, he hadn't read the books :) ). He was careless
about spelling. He hated having his picture taken. His avatar was a man making
funny faces. To his four younger siblings and to most of his friends, I am sure
he sometimes seemed very ordinary. Even though he took his Catholic faith
seriously, and sometimes challenged his high school friends on different
His friend Paul Ethier was surprised when Marc told him that he was
planning to join the Franciscan
Friars of the Immaculate, who had a friary near the Girard home in Griswold,
CT. Marc was accepted as a postulant, and was going to join the Maine, NY friary
The Girard family had been through a lot. Last year they suffered
two hardships in a row: first, their home burned down. The only thing in Marc's
room that survived the fire was his picture of Padre Pio.
The family lived on a trailer through the winter, but then this spring,
the property was foreclosed.
father Thomas was working hard to keep the family together. In his free time he
helped the Friars of the Immaculate on their outreachs: this past spring he was
"Grand Master" knight for their group, The Knights
of Lepanto, as Catholic fathers and the friars "initiated" their sons into
Catholic knighthood. The photo at the top shows Marc carrying a "penance pack"
of 15 pounds of rocks during the "intiation."
Thomas found a new house for the family, and they were going to move on
the first day of July, yesterday, in fact.
The day before the big move, Thomas took his two sons, Marc and Lucas
and daughter Hannah swimming at a pond down the street from their old house.
There was an island a short distance from the shore, and they decided to swim
out to the island.
Marc took his younger brother Lucas, 11, along and they swam safely to
the island. Mr. Girard took their daughter Hannah, age 7, in his arms and came
along behind them.
Hearing his sister Hannah screaming, Marc turned back and
the boys saw her bobbing in the water. Their father was gone. Marc stopped
several feet before reaching the island. He sent Lucas ahead and went back for
his father and Hannah.
Marc swam out to Hannah. He pushed her towards shore until she was
safe, told her to pray, and then dove back in to find their father.
He died trying to save him.