From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Episcopalians: St. Louis cathedral secretary stabbed, killed by homeless man
Fri, 20 Dec 2002 16:48:06 -0500
December 20, 2002
Episcopalians: St. Louis cathedral secretary stabbed, killed by
by Robert Brown
(ENS) A 64-year-old church secretary, known for her compassion
and understanding in dealing with the homeless, died after
apparently being attacked by a homeless man in the hallway
outside her office December 19 at Christ Church Cathedral in
downtown St. Louis.
Carol Bledsoe, who had worked at the cathedral for nearly four
years, reportedly went into the hallway shortly after lunchtime
to investigate a disturbance and was stabbed in the neck. She
stumbled into the office of a coworker, who called for help
while another coworker administered first aid. She was taken to
a nearby hospital by fire department medics, where she died a
short time later.
Police soon arrested a 45-year-old man outside the cathedral
whom one officer described as having "a mental condition." The
man was known to cathedral workers, although he was not among
the regular group of homeless men who frequently participate in
a morning breakfast program operated by the cathedral. That
breakfast program was open as usual the next morning.
Bledsoe was known by her coworkers as someone who did not
tolerate foul language or rude behavior from the homeless men
and women who came to her office, but she never failed to go the
extra step to make sure their needs were met and was patient in
listening to their stories. She was on a first-name basis with
many of the men and women, who called her "Miss Carol." As
police taped off the Bishop Tuttle Memorial Building, housing
the cathedral and diocesan offices, word spread among the
homeless men gathering outside that "Miss Carol had been
stabbed." A number of the men were visibly upset.
"I don't know what to say. All I know is that it hurts," Dean
Ronald Clingenpeel told a congregation of about 150 persons who
gathered for a prayer service in the Cathedral that evening.
The next morning, members of the cathedral and diocesan staffs,
along with a number of homeless persons attending the breakfast
program, took part in a Rite of Restoring Things Profaned.
Bishop George Wayne Smith sprinkled the floor with holy water,
reclaiming the hallway and offices as holy space.
Funeral arrangements are pending. Bledsoe and her husband, Jack
lived in the St. Louis suburb of Affton and were members of
Emmanuel Episcopal Church in suburban Webster Groves. She is
survived by her husband, a son, and two grandchildren.
Robert Brown is communications director for the Diocese of
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