Family, Friends Gather for Grace McDonnell

A steady stream of people turn out for the Sandy Hook School student's wake at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown.

As the bell tolled at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown this afternoon, family and friends of Grace Audrey McDonnell stepped inside to show their love and pay their respects.

Grace was born on Nov. 4, 2005. She was one of the 26 victims of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook School.

Outside the church, in the parking lot, Philip Melchionne of Prospect and Mark Dawley of Newtown—both members of the Knights of Columbus—helped direct traffic. 

The two said they felt honored to help the McDonnell family, and all those impacted by the tragedy. In addition to helping direct traffic, Dawley said KOC members have been cleaning churches following services, transporting elderly residents to and from services, and helping make sure the cemeteries are clear and prepared.

Basically, Dawley said, "Anything that needs to be done to ease the burden off the family."

"I have three girls and if something happened to one of them I would hope that my fellow Knights would come to my need," Melchionne said.

A Memorial Mass for Grace McDonnell will take place tomorrow, Dec. 21, at 11 a.m. at St. Rose, 46 Church Hill Road, Newtown.

brenda mcdonald December 21, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Praying for all ppl affected by tragedy.Mphs Tn
Catherine December 21, 2012 at 07:32 AM
Nice to see so many people helping out with the things that really matter though they may seem small at the time .. helping to clean, the traffic (which im sure frees up the officers) the other police officers helping out the newtown police when they could all probably use a break with the extra load of the media and the drama that comes with it...
L Bray December 21, 2012 at 02:37 PM
My thoughts and prayers have been with all of Newtown CT sin e last Friday. Your townis not alone in ggrieving, the WORLD grieves with you. May God help lift some of this grief over the Holiday season. Sending lots of love and prayers from Michigan.
Erika December 21, 2012 at 06:01 PM
We are with you and thinking of you. With all our love and warmth we hope you have courage and fortitude to take you through these painful days. Let us defete the NRA and not weaken our resolve.
Amulette April 12, 2013 at 07:48 PM
On the Anderson Cooper interview Lynn said people doodled w/Sharpies all over Grace's casket.On her Find A Grave page it says she was cremated and ashes given to family.So my question is what did they do with the casket?
Dart April 12, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Why is that any of your concern? And why are you looking for the graves of people you don't know? It seems kind of ghoulish.


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