The story that’s tugged on everyone’s heartstrings for the last twenty-four hours is the horrible report out of Orlando, that a two-year-old child was snatched by an alligator while playing and watching an outdoor film with his family near Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Hotel. As the search dragged on, we checked back to see if there were updates–and our hearts broke as the hours passed with no report.

Finally, the boy’s body has been recovered.

The family, as it turns out, is Catholic; and early reports are that a Catholic priest has been with them, offering comfort and prayers during the heart-rending wait.

They are from Elkhorn, Nebraska, near Omaha, and attend St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. The church issued the following statement:

Dear St. Patrick’s Community,

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of a tragic loss in one of our parish families. As many of you have heard from national and local media outlets, there was a child deemed missing at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Florida. The family of Matt and Melissa Graves have lost their two year old son, Lane. The Graves are members of St. Patrick’s Parish, and their daughter, Ella, attends our school. Please honor their privacy at this time and keep them in your prayers.

Christ’s Peace,
St. Patrick’s Parish and School

May Lane find joy in the arms of Christ. May his family find comfort, knowing that he has gone before them, but that they will be together again in heaven. God help them.

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