The kingship and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the holy ones of the Most High;their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.” Daniel 7:27
For all the saints who from their labors rest,who Thee by faith before the world confessed; Thy name,Jesus,be forever blest.Alleluia, Alleluia!
For the apostles' glorious company,who bearing forth the cross o'er land and sea, shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee: Alleluia, Alleluia!
December 11, 1990-November 14, 2008
I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to share this story with you, it is one of heroes and sainthood. I was honored to be another mother to Ashley Scanlon-Smith, she and my daughter Danielle were best friends since the summer of freshman year. It seemed like a snap of the fingers and they were already seniors in high school. The greatest part of the story is what happened in between, I literally watched it all unfold, I spent many nights carpooling the girls to friends houses the mall and every youth group happening around town. I can’t tell you exactly when it happened but Ashley Michelle Scanlon Smith changed, of course she was growing up, but this was different, what I witnessed was a change of heart.
She was still the fun loving Ashley just different. She seemed to embrace our Catholic faith with ferocity and an understanding of it that was beyond my knowledge. I saw her serving at every holy opportunity that arose, praying in adoration and leading youth events. She was a beautiful presence at our parish and an incredible example to our youth. I once asked a Caramelite sister, why? Why did Ashley get it so young? She said, "Her conversion happened because Ashleys eyes and were fixed on God ,she was ready".
On the early morning of November 14, 2008 I received a phone call from Suzi Ashley‘s mom, she told me Ashley was unresponsive when they went to wake her up and she was being taken to the hospital. Suzi was concerned for my daughter, afraid, whatever the outcome, Danielle would hear about it at school. I rushed to the hospital only to find Ashley had passed into heaven, leaving us all brokenhearted.
In the days to follow, again selflessly putting their sorrow aside, Mike, Suzi and Ashley‘s brother Garrett invited us to join in preparations to lay Ashley to rest, lovingly choosing her casket, picking the perfect pictures, planning every detail perfectly to the last, we were honored to be a part of it. The week of Ashley‘s funeral was filled with stories of a life well spent. Although it was short, this young woman loved with her heart, served with her soul, worshipped and prayed with her whole being leaving us with the choice to use her as a another great example for lives, that would only to bring us closer to Christ.
To love, serve, worship and pray, action so simple to do every day, these are the things that lead us to sainthood.
I will never forget the love and respect Ashley‘s family bestowed on my daughter Danielle, I believe she is well today because of the selfless love they continue to pour out on her, Truly they are my heroes!
More about Ashley.
- She spoke about sainthood often in her journals.
- She died six months to the day of her confirmation.
- She chose Maria Goretti as her confirmation saint. Our parish has a prayer space in the youth center dedicated to Ashley with an icon of the Blessed mother and Saint Maria Goretti and a beautiful first class relic.
- She was accepted to Franciscan University at Steubenville Ohio and would be attending fall 2009.
- She was a leader at a teen retreat seven days before she died.
- She served at the mass of the deceased the week before she died.
- Her story has been told to hundreds of thousands of teens through Life teen international, Mark Hart and Steve Allgeyer .
- She gave her testimony to hundreds of teen girls at a Stuebenville conference in the conference.
- Ashley would say "she would love to live at church", Our pastor honored her wish by allowing her body to rest in the sacristy the night before her funeral.
- Her favorite colors were pink and yellow.
- I was honored to sew a precious pillow of pink and yellow. I sewed Ashley‘s holy cards and holy medals on the pillow that rested her beautiful head.
- At her funeral reception The idea of women’s fellowship was mentioned, Heart of Mary Womens Fellowship was born, we are on our ninth year.
- She suffered with feet problems, always with a huge smile on her face.
- I met the coronor at a dedication to Ashley and through his tears he told me how moved he was by her.
- Ashley died of natural causes.
To Jesus through Mary -Michelle Workman
The Everything Drama, preformed the week of Ashley's death, she is the main character
Life Teens Mark Hart talks about Ashley