The Passing of Marion Barry

Marion Barry speaks after being sworn in to his fourth term as mayor of the District of Columbia in January 1995. (Catholic Standard file photo by Michael Alexander)

Marion Barry speaks after being sworn in to his fourth term as mayor of the District of Columbia in January 1995. (Catholic Standard file photo by Michael Alexander)

Last night and today, people all across our community were saddened to hear of the unexpected passing of Marion Barry, a larger-than-life figure who devoted his life to public service, working to lift up the lives of the underprivileged and help make a better District of Columbia.   For his tireless contributions and the inspiration he provided, he was beloved by many and will be sorely missed.

This champion of the people who had many accomplishments would be the first to admit that he had his stumbles as well, some of them well known. Through it all, however, what kept him going was his abiding faith in God. During one period of struggle, he remarked, “I used to say: ‘God, I can’t handle this. Will you please allow your healing spirit to come into my life?’ And when I’d do that, things worked out.”

It is to this same God, who is rich in mercy, and his healing Spirit to whom we now appeal. It is a “holy and pious thought” to pray for the departed (2 Maccabees 12:45-46) and we ask that the Lord remember Marion, who he has called from this life, and that the Lord comfort his family and friends strengthening them in their hope in the imperishable inheritance promised us by Christ Jesus.

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