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Catholic volunteer killed on way home from adoration was ‘old soul’

Volunteering to help people was a big part of who Ryan Realbuto was.

He scrubbed dishes in a soup kitchen, did yard work at a foster home, repainted the chapel at a home for women, and helped high-school kids figure out their future jobs.

He was so generous, his mother believes, on the night of Jan. 18, while walking home from a Holy Hour and social event at a Catholic church in Washington, D.C., he would have given the man who tried to rob him anything he wanted.

But he never got the chance.

Instead, Realbuto, 23, was shot and killed, devastating his family and a wide circle of friends and admirers who remember him for the quiet way he put his Catholic faith in action to help those in need.

“He cared deeply for other people. He would not have harmed other people. He had an infectious smile,” his mother, Janet Realbuto, told the National Catholic Register, CNA’s sister news partner.

“He was pure. He was innocent. He was love,” she said.

This week, she’s planning his funeral.

“Our family is shattered. It’s senseless: completely and utterly senseless,” Ryan’s mother said.

“We have lost our humanity in this world.”

The young man, from Pittsford, New York, was five months into his one-year stint in the nation’s capital with the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps, a service program for recent college graduates and other young people, said Brother Stephen Cantwell, a Capuchin Franciscan who oversees portions of the program.

Read more at Catholic News Agency 

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