Share this article

print logo

When grace shines through Klimczak, Capozzi stories of tragedy also offer inspiration and hope

The pages of this newspaper, any newspaper, inevitably fill up with accounts of mishaps and misdeeds. Dangers, risks and injuries demand immediate community attention, as surely as wounds draw more concern than the slow process of healing.

Sometimes, though, inspiration shines through -- and, occasionally, it gathers the force of its illumination from the darkest of places. The Buffalo area has been extraordinarily blessed, in recent weeks, by two such beacons of hope. They should not go unnoticed, nor unremarked.

Spiritual inspiration flowed from the tragic murder of Sister Karen Klimczak last year, in the form of a legacy of her "I Leave Peace Prints" campaign and of her own good works. But the light of that inspiration intensified last month, as a letter she wrote in 1991 was read by Sister Jean Klimczak to a hushed courtroom during the sentencing hearing for the halfway house resident who murdered the nun who was there to help him. In that letter, Sister Karen foresaw her own future death -- and offered her eventual killer her forgiveness, promising to watch over him and help him however she could.

And this month, a man wrongly convicted for Delaware Park rapes and imprisoned for 22 long and stressful years came home, released after DNA evidence linked those crimes to another man now charged with murder as the Bike Path Rapist. Anthony Capozzi's homecoming glowed with joy. You could see it in the family pictures -- Albert Capozzi beaming at the son he always contended was innocent, his wife Mary's eyes shining through a mist of emotion, Anthony himself a bit stunned at freedom and the commotion but brightening daily as the shadows of injustice retreated.

In none of that glow was there a flicker of resentment or bitterness. Capozzi -- the entire Capozzi family -- chose to focus on the good, on the joy, on the end of darkness and not the darkness itself.

These stories shared two things in common. All of us instantly recognized the nobility that illumined them. All of us wondered, deep in our hearts, whether we could find the strength to act the same way, in the same circumstances.

There is another word for that nobility: grace. It should not go unremarked, in any community. It should not go unnoticed, ever.

There are no comments - be the first to comment