I was devastated to read the following update on Michele’s blog:
“We are so very sorry to have to share the devastating news that Ryan Barrett has drowned. Our heartfelt love and prayers are extended to Mary Ellen and Dave and all the Barrett family. Words cannot convey the depth of this sadness. We pray that God will grant them strength and peace in this horrible time of loss.”
14-year-old Ryan led a blessed and beautiful life. When I think of Ryan, I think of his love of music and his penchant for playing priest. His was the little way, as in Mary Ellen’s words, “His only ambitions are to pray, attend Mass, play the guitar at Mass and prayer group and he is perfectly willing and able to do simple works and jobs.”
You may read Mary Ellen’s entire column here: A vocation for Ryan?
Mary Ellen has said that she commended her son to the intercession of St. John Vianney, “to help him achieve his goal of living a life dedicated to serving God in a religious order.” She went on to say that there was something “otherworldly” about Ryan, though why he was called to Our Father’s home at this time and in this way we do not yet know.
Mary Ellen, my heart goes out to you and your family. I cannot understand why you have been asked to bear this cross but please know that we are here to help you with this impossible burden. I pray that Our Blessed Mother be your refuge and your strength, and that she hold you ever tightly in her arms.
With much love and so much sorrow,