Seven people were killed during the June 3 terrorist attack, including Canadian Christine Archibald, right, and dozens injured.

Canadian Catholic killed in London Bridge attack

By 
  • June 6, 2017

A tragic death is inspiring others to help save lives in their own community.

People around the world are donating to their local charities to pay tribute to 30-year-old Christine Archibald, the Canadian victim killed in the June 3 London bridge attack that also claimed six other lives and injured 48.

The Archibald family, who lives in Castlegar, B.C., and are parishioners at St. Rita’s Catholic Church, released a statement June 4 describing her as person who “had room in her heart for everyone and believed strongly that every person was to be valued and respected.”

“She lived this belief working in a shelter for the homeless until she moved to Europe to be with her fiancé,” the statement continues. “She would have had no understanding of the callous cruelty that caused her death. Please honour her by making your community a better place. Volunteer your time and labour or donate to a homeless shelter. Tell them Chrissy sent you.”

Since the family’s statement was released, the hashtag #Chrissysentme emerged on Twitter and other social media from people who have donated to local charity organizations in Archibald’s honour.

Covenant House Toronto and Vancouver, Catholic agencies for homeless youth, have both expressed gratitude for the outpouring of gifts they have received in the past few days.

“We are deeply moved by the #Chrissysentme movement and the acts of love occurring in response to the tragic violence in the London attacks,” Kirsty Haytor, spokesperson for Covenant House Vancouver, told The Catholic Register in an email.

Archibald, a graduate of Calgary’s Mount Royal College, worked at Alpha House in Calgary for two years before she moved to the Netherlands with her fiancé. Alpha House is a non-profit organization that provides programs for men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addictions.

“She came to us as a social work student and them became a social worker,” Alpha House executive directory Kathy Christiansen told CTV News. “But I think one of the things we can say about Chrissy is that she had a natural talent and she was loved by clients and staff alike.”

Archibald is survived by her parents, Greg and Barbara Archibald, her two sisters Kathryn Fairbank and Caroline Stuart, and her fiancé Tyler Ferguson.

According to Castlegar News, the community members were struck by Archibald’s tragic death. Herparents, are well-known in the community. Both are retired elementary school teachers. The family was also a regular presence in the St. Rita Catholic Church community where Greg plays guitar for Mass.

Castlegar community members are organizing a “Peace and Healing” vigil on June 11 to commemorate Archibald, alongside two locals that died of terminal illnesses this year.

The terrorist attack unfolded, authorities said, when three men in a van mowed down people on the London Bridge and then left the vehicle to go on a killing spree in Borough Market, a popular restaurant and bar district located south of the river.

Archibald was said to have been walking ahead of her fiancé when she was struck by the van.

The three men were shot and killed by police at the scene.

On June 4, the Sunday after the attack, Pope Francis published his message for October’s Missionary Sunday and also offered prayers to the victims of the London attack.

(With files from Catholic News Service)

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