Northern Alberta community mourns priest killed earlier this month
EDMONTON – It’s an emotional day for the community of St. Paul, as residents gather to remember a local priest who was shot to death earlier this month.
A funeral was held Monday afternoon for Father Gilbert Dasna who was shot inside the Rectory in St. Paul, 200 kilometres north of Edmonton, on May 9.
There was an outpouring of emotion outside of the Father’s funeral mass, as community members, religious leaders, and RCMP members gathered to grieve and say farewell to the man who quickly became a pillar of support in both joy and sorrow after arriving in Canada just three years ago.
Those who knew Father Dasna call him a “bright light.”
“He was one of our gems. He entered whole-heartedly into the program, and then when he came back six months later you could feel that he had entered into his life here, serving in Canada as a priest,” said Sister Mary Clare Stack.
“Very uplifting person, very positive, very spiritual, always smiling, always generous to help out anyone in need,” said Tim O’Neill, St. Paul resident.
The RCMP believes 55-year-old John Quadros, who was killed during a shootout with police in downtown St. Paul, is responsible for killing Father Dasna.
Three RCMP were injured during the gunfight.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating Quardros’ death.
Father Dasna’s death is still under investigation..
Dasna was born in Cameroon in 1982. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2009 and served the St. Paul Cathedral since May 2011.
Dasna was a priest from a Nigerian-based order of priests.
Dasna’s remains will be transported to Africa, where he’ll be buried in the cemetery of his order in Nigeria.
*With files from Emily Mertz and Caley Ramsay
© Shaw Media, 2014