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Memorial Mass held for Sharon

Claire Heininger | Friday, February 13, 2004

The refrain of the opening hymn was fitting: “We remember, we celebrate, we believe.”A standing room only crowd of about 120 students and faculty gathered in the Fisher Hall chapel Thursday night to remember and celebrate the life of Chad Sharon, the freshman who disappeared on Dec. 12, 2002. Thursday’s memorial Mass marked a year since his body was found floating in the St. Joseph River, two months after his disappearance.Father Robert Moss, Sharon’s former rector, reflected on the time of uncertainty when the missing student’s whereabouts were still unknown.”We were pressured, we were harried, we were worried,” Moss said in his homily. “People like certainty. Finding Chad put an end to two months of total uncertainty, of wondering what could’ve happened, where he could be.”He said that the discovery of Sharon’s body brought resolution of this uncertainty, but also prompted questions about the injustice of losing such a young life.”We ask why we had to lose somebody so young, somebody so talented, somebody so happy, somebody so thrilled about being at ND,” Moss said. “We don’t know the reasons. We can see and not understand. But we can trust that Chad is one with the Lord, and we are one with Chad.” At the close of the Mass, Father Mark Poorman, vice president for student affairs, read a letter from Sharon’s parents, Steve and Jane, of Pelican Lake, Wis. Addressed to “all our dear friends at Notre Dame,” the brief and heartfelt letter expressed the family’s everyday struggles with the loss of their son and their efforts to fulfill his wishes.The Sharons also wrote that they promised to return to campus again soon. After finishing the letter, Poorman told listeners that a tree would be planted in the spring to honor Chad Sharon’s memory, and that his diploma would be awarded posthumously at graduation ceremonies in May of 2006.Moss reminded those in attendance to rejoice in Sharon’s life, although his time at the University had been cut short.”He was only with us for four short months, but he certainly left his mark,” Moss said. “God was ready to welcome Chad in his own embrace.”