Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 23 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ioan Suciu
home iconNews
line break icon

Coronavirus claims life of Franciscan friar: First death in D.C.

John-Sebastian Laird-Hammond

Franciscan Monastery | Facebook | Fair Use

J-P Mauro - published on 03/24/20 - updated on 03/24/20

The illness may have been exacerbated by his battle with cancer.

A Franciscan friar and permanent deacon has become the first known fatality due to the coronavirus in Washington, D.C..

Catholic News Agency reports, Brother John-Sebastian Laird-Hammond, 59, had been grappling with leukemia for several years before contracting COVID-19. He was hospitalized with the virus last week and succumbed to the illness on March 20th.

Brother Laird-Hammond had been a resident of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America for about 30 years. During that time he served his order as Secretariat of the monastery’s board of directors and business manager of the its ministries. He had been planning a move to a New York friary to begin new work with Central American missionaries, prior to contracting the coronavirus.

Fox News notes that Brother Laird-Hammond’s remains will be cremated, but his memorial service will be postponed until gatherings are once again permitted.

Father Larry Dunham, superior of the monastery, spoke to CNA about their fellow monk’s tragic death:

“When he informed me by text that he was in the hospital and that the doctors initially were suspecting COVID-19, it came as a complete shock,” Dunham told CNA. “That he is the first coronavirus death in the District only saddens us more for all the victims of this terrible plague.”

On Sunday night a 65-year-old woman became the second Washington, D.C. resident to die. NBC estimates that there are nearly 100 more cases of coronavirus in the nation’s capital.

Tags:
CatholicCoronavirusMonks
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SUMMER SHED
Zelda Caldwell
Catholic priest’s chapel is finalist in “Shed of the Year&#...
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
FATHER ANIMATION
Zoe Romanowsky
Animated film shows the power of fatherhood in just one minute
4
Enneagram
Philip Kosloski
Can Catholics use the Enneagram personality system?
5
KSIĄDZ
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Thoughtful ways to honor a priest this Father’s Day
6
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
7
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.