A Eureka family shares video message from priest on Christmas Day, one week before his murder
EUREKA- The community gathered Friday afternoon as the first mass was held at Saint Bernard’s Catholic Church since the death of Rev. Eric Freed.
Parishioner Therese Dick said before mass Friday, "I know father is with us because I can feel him and I'm not the only one."
Dick and her family are one among hundreds trying to cope with the murder of reverend Eric Freed,
"We were absolutely stunned, how could this happen," she said.
According to the Eureka Police Department it happened next door to the church, inside of the rectory when suspect Gary Bullock forced his way into Rev. Freed’s home, shattering a side window.
Dick said, “I think the one thing I learned from Father Eric, and it is not going to be easy, is that we have to forgive the man who did it, but I’m not there yet, I’m angry, I’m really angry."
Rev. Freed was unique to Dick and her family, a people person with a caring heart and loving soul,
"That is very hard to find, someone who is like that and I think the people we really hurt the most for are the young people.” She said, “They had something yanked out from under them that was gold."
Dick said something she will never forget is a video of Rev. Freed filmed from her iPhone, for her 90-year-old mother on Christmas Day,
"Mom was not feeling well, she could not make it to mass so father freed says to me, you bring that machine to the back of church after mass and I will leave a message on it for your mom," she said.
The message wished her mother a merry and holy Christmas saying “I’m sorry you couldn’t be here with us but I thought about you at mass.”
Dick said when she brought the message back to her mother she was in tears and surprised. Dick, like fellow parishioners said Rev. Freed was a man who gave so much, and expected so little in return.
If you would like to attend Rev. Freed’s funeral, it will be held Monday at 11:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Eureka and is open to the public. On Sunday there will be a vigil held throughout the night beginning at 2 p.m. and will be open for personal prayer and meditation until 9 a.m. Monday.