The search for missing Boston College student, Franco Garcia, is still underway. The BC senior has been missing since Wednesday, Feb. 22nd and although no new leads have surfaced, family and friends are staying hopeful.
Garcia’s friends planned, held and conducted a prayer service at BC’s St. Ignatius Church on Thursday night.
Despite the snowy weather and short notice for the event, the there were about 150 people in attendance. Garcia’s closest friends and family members filled the first few rows of the church with Brighton community members, BC students and other adults who knew Franco sitting in the subsequent pews.
The BC community, faculty, alumni and current students were involved in the service.
Rachele Reis, BC ’12, read selections from Psalm 32 and 150, Fr. Don MacMillan, a Jesuit at BC, offered a prayer, Cassie Estassi, BC ’12, read from Romans 5 and Elvira Garcia BC ’09 read, in Spanish, a prayer of St. Ignatius and a personal prayer for Garcia’s family.
MacMillan said that while Garcia’s friends organized the service, it was only natural for him to be involved. In his opening message, MacMillan prayed that all would stay vigilant in the search for Garcia and keep hoping for his safe return.
“This service is for the family and for the students before we all go away for spring break. We are a caring community,” MacMillan said before the service.
BC’s Liturgy Arts Group (LAG) performed several selections for the service. Even though there was not much time for preparation, members of the group expressed a sense of concern and duty pushed them to participate.
Will Brown, a senior and member of the LAG said he was not going to let midterms, break or work keep him from singing in the service.
“For what purpose do we, LAG, exist except for times like this? I’ve been working since 10:15 this morning, and am technically still on the clock. After the service, I’ll be heading right back to work,” Brown said.
Fellow LAG member Natalie Thomas, BC ’12, said that it was important for her to attend the service, especially before spring break.
“It’s really tough, I’m so happy because have finished my midterms and am going on a spring break trip but I am aware of this sadness at the same time. But [this service] is where I need to be right now. Generating a sense of hope is the whole purpose. It’s just as important to retain hope and pray as to do active things,” Thomas said.
As the BC campus nearly empties over the next week for Spring Break, Boston Police and the Garcia’s private investigator will continue the search for Garcia.
Over the past week, there have been two major developments in the search:
Police crews have searched the Chestnut Hill Reservoir three times without any trace of Garcia, thus eliminating the site from the search.
Additionally, police found and released photographs from the Cleveland Circle security cameras of Garcia from the night he went missing.
The Boston Globe reported that Boston police spokesman, David Procopio, remained hopeful that Garcia can be found.
“We still hold out hope that he’s alive, and our hope is that we’ll find him and bring him home to his family,” Procopio told the Globe.
The social networking tools being used in the search are still generating a great deal of traffic.
There is now a @FindFranco Twitter handle being used, in addition to the #FindFranco hashtag.
The “Missing Since 2/21 – Franco Garcia” Facebook group continues to gain subscribers and now has over 2,700 members.
The group has also developed two separate documents – “Donate Service(s)” and “#FindFranco Ideas/Suggestions.”
Reis said that these documents would help streamline all the input the group has been receiving in the search.
“In order to organize all the ideas and suggestions that everyone has, and pass them along to the police, please use the new docs… Thank you so much for all your love, concern, and continued prayers to bring Franco home!” Reis posted in the Facebook Group.
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