It is only now that I have been able to bring myself to announce formally on this blog an event of immensely tragic proportions. Two of our Knights of Lepanto, father and son died by accidental drowning on Monday, June 30. Thomas Girard, was pronounced dead at the scene around 8:30 pm and his son Marc died around 2:00 am, July 1 in Providence hospital.
Thom was one of our finest knights and a first rate example of all I wanted the knights to be: courageous, committed, kind, geniune and loyal. Mark was his father’s son.
Thom has been the Grand Master of all our encampments, both last year and this year. He had many years experience as a scout master, but more than that he had really imbibed the Spirit of Lepanto and understood how to communicate it to others. He really was what I wanted all the knights to be.
Marc was inducted into the Knights at the spring encampment this year, after having been among the squires since we began the Knights several years ago. When Thom became distressed as he was swimming with his daughter Hanna, Marc, who was swimming with his younger brother Lucas, told his brother to continue to the other side, went to the rescue and saved Hanna’s life and then attempted to save his father also. Marc died a hero, a true knight. He was his father’s son.
Please pray for the repose of their souls. The one consolation I keep returning to is that now we have two knights who, in the words of St. Maximilian, have both hands free.
Thom and Marc leave behind Carol, wife and mother, Jacqueline, daughter and sister, Adam, son and brother, Lucas, son and brother and little Hanna, daughter and sister. Please pray for them also. They are strong, full of faith and hope, but their suffering is hard to imagine.
Thom wrote an elaborate knight’s “ritual” by which we could induct the older boys into the Knights of Lepanto. We have used it only once, for the induction of Marc back at the Spring Encampment. I reproduce part of it here. The words of the “Father” were pronounced by me, but the whole “ritual” was written by Thom. This was a dialoque between father and son: Continue reading