By LINDA M. LINONIS
Vindicator Staff Writer
YOUNGSTOWN — The Rev. Gregory Maturi, pastor of St. Dominic’s Church, voiced two emotions on how parish members were reacting to the death of Angeline Fimognari, 80.
She was fatally shot after the 8 a.m. Mass on Saturday in the parking lot at the church, 77 E. Lucius Ave.
“There is sadness. But there is resolution. ... This act won’t prevent them from coming to Mass because they don’t want evil to stop them from worshipping God,” Father Maturi said.
The church pastor said Fimognari’s own faith is an example to others. “She was very devoted to church and the Eucharist,” Father Maturi said. “People saw that, and it encourages them.”
The priest said Fimognari spent about three hours in church daily, praying and attending Mass.
Father Maturi said, “I think Angeline showed signs of holiness.” He said that the faithful believe she is in heaven with God.
“We can count on her intercessory prayer for us. The prayer of one will help all because we are one body united in Christ,” Father Maturi said.
Father Maturi acknowledged that such a “senseless act” and “random act of violence” may seem like a threat to the faith of believers.
“Faith and reason are in harmony,” Father Maturi said. “When something unreasonable happens, it reverberates in faith. People of faith are more attuned when something unreasonable or senseless happens because it goes against reason.”
But Father Maturi said people “look to God to understand it” ... We want to make sense of it.”
Father Maturi admitted that making sense of it means acknowledging evil or realizing the person who committed the act is unstable or has a disability.
A statement issued by the Most Rev. George Murry, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, described the homicide as a “horrific and shocking event in and of itself, but especially because it occurred at a holy place.”
The bishop’s statement continued that, “During this difficult time, it is important to remember that we must not only work together as a community to solve this crime but also to help people in need so that they will not turn to violence.”
Father Maturi added that Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th, visited him at the church to express her sympathy and discuss security measures.
He also noted that the church has a fenced parking lot and security cameras. “We haven’t seen a pattern of criminal behavior,” he said. “This [crime] is an aberration ... an anomaly.”
Father Maturi, who was assigned to St. Dominic’s on Nov. 1, 2009, estimated that about 40 or so people attend daily Mass, as did Fimognari.
Bishop Murry will celebrate the 8 a.m. Mass on Wednesday at St. Dominic.
A funeral Mass for Fimognari is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 7345 Westview Drive, (the church faces Route 224) Boardman. Father Maturi said the family did not want to have the funeral Mass at the site of the shooting. There are no calling hours.
Father Maturi said St. Dominic has about 1,200 members and is a mix of older members and young families. He noted there are 100 youth in the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes.
Bishop Murry and Father Maturi acknowledged the police who are working on the crime.
The bishop’s statement noted that “The clergy and staff of St. Dominic Parish are working with the police to bring the perpetrator to justice and to bring peace and healing to the victim’s family.”