The following homily was delivered by Father Gerry Creedon at
the memorial service for Prince William County Police Officer
Ashley Guindon held March 1 at Hylton Chapel in Woodbridge.
Guindon was killed in the line of duty Feb. 27. Father
Creedon is pastor of Holy Family Church in Dale City and
chair of the Diocesan Peace and Justice Commission.
Our hearts and our prayers go out to Ashley's mother, Sharon,
her grandmother, Dorothy, aunts, uncles and extended family,
friends and comrades.
Ashley Marie Guindon; born in Merrimack N.H., killed Feb. 27
in the line of duty, sworn in as a PWC Police officer on Feb.
26, she had been an intern with the Special Victims Unit. She
achieved a B.A. in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle at
Daytona Beach; Ashley flew a helicopter with the Marine
Corps, loved creation, the air, dogs, birds, and liked to
dance, read and travel. Ashley shared a love of fashion with
her many friends. She believed in community outreach; soup
kitchens, suicide prevention, even assisted with the Mortuary
for the Marines.
Her untimely and tragic death shocked her family and the
larger community. The loss we feel in death is compounded
when it is the result of senseless violence. We reach out for
some meaning in this chapel. When our words fail we seek the
We join her journey to the Lenten journey when believers seek
the desert, the wilderness, the place of the wild beast to
struggle with God and God's purposes. Praying and fasting, we
hunger and thirst for a grain of hope. The baptismal water of
the Easter Vigil will bring some comfort. A light beckons us
forward despite the blood of crucifixion. In 1998, when she
received her name, Ashley was given the promise of Easter.
With her we long for a life beyond life.
Ashley would want her grief to extend beyond herself to all
the victims of violence over the past week, in Kansas, in
Michigan and right here in Woodbridge. She would have us pray
for her injured comrades. She would bid a prayer for the
Henderson family too, victim and offender.
Would that her unconscionable dismissal from this life,
cutting down her hope and her ambition for the good of Prince
William, would that her death might signal an end to
violence. Would that it might silence the sound of gunfire in
our neighborhoods and in our nation.
Would that her passing should subordinate all our sacrosanct
rights to the right to life itself. Would that vengeance
everywhere might give way to forgiveness.
She sought a life of peace maker. Blessed are the peace
makers. May we find a path of policing for security, for
restored trust in our communities and for reasonable measures
of safety in all our behaviors and purchases.
She sought to resolve a conflict. In her name let us all
study the ways and methods of conflict resolution. She was a
police woman and a peace officer. May we all learn in her
name to wage peace.
I pray with the canticle of Zachary;
You, My child shall be called
The prophet of the Most High,
For you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our Lord
The dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
And the shadow of death,
And to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Ashley learned courage at her mother's knee. Why do I know
this? When I met Sharon Guindon yesterday at Mountcastle, I
encountered a woman who did not grieve her heart-ache, though
grieve she must. I found a mother taking care of all the
details of bereavement and hospitality. Sharon was looking
not to her own hurt, but to the dignity and the joy that is
Ashley. She was looking out for us, for all who would gather
in her daughter's honor. When another would be struck down by
her many losses, she was still standing. Let us all stand
with a small measure of that faith and courage.