I have been really moved hearing the story of Dylan Garnett in the last few weeks. He was unfortunately in a tragic accident on his way to Lawrence, Kansas in May. But his story continues to linger with me and profoundly inspire me. He lived a life of abundant joy and radiated the love of Christ.
He would have been a camp counselor at Camp Tekakwitha this summer and attended daily mass at the Saint Lawrence Center at the University of Kansas. This place means the world to me, as KU is my alma mater. A place very close to my heart.
Dylan had just gotten back from studying abroad in Spain. While he was in Spain, he held on to a piece of his daily life in Lawrence and attended Mass each day.
Every day when he went to Mass, there was a woman outside the church begging. Although Dylan did not have enough money to give to the woman, he told his mother that each day he gave her the orange from his breakfast. “He was the kind of person who every person he met was important to him,” his mother, Renee Garnett said.
When he was in Lawrence, Dylan showed up at the Saint Lawrence Center every day. He went to daily Mass, came to every social function and was preparing to give a talk at Koinonia in the fall.
I was moved so deeply because Dylan’s life was way too short but he lived his life SO vibrantly and full. Hearing his friends describe him makes my heart weep. He made people feel so known and loved. He made them feel seen and appreciated. He made the merciful love of Christ known.
Even though a month has passed, and I never met him, Dylan is very much alive within our hearts. May God be with his family, friends, the Saint Lawrence community and the Camp Tekakwitha community through this season of true loss. Dylan, thank you for the way you have made Jesus known to me. It was an honor to paint the pure joy of Christ alive inside you.
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