CONYERS—Joshua Bishop, who died by lethal injection March 31, was remembered by his faith community, friends and supporters at a funeral Mass celebrated April 12 at St. Pius X Church in Conyers by Father Tom Zahuta.
Bishop, who became a Catholic in prison, regularly attended Mass and other faith gatherings. He met with visiting deacons in the Jackson prison, particularly Deacon Richard Tolcher and Deacon Norm Keller. He was 41.
Following the Mass, he was interred at Honey Creek Woodlands, at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.
The night of the execution, a vigil was held on the grounds of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison. A group of 50 or more people, some coming from the Catholic Chancery in Smyrna, prayed and waited for the possibility that there would be a last-minute reprieve based on legal appeals. Those waiting included Bishop’s attorney and a corps of young law students, some wiping away tears, chaplains from several Christian denominations, others who visited Bishop, and those opposing the death penalty. Over several hours the group prayed Psalm 23 and the Our Father and sang “Amazing Grace.” The names of those who have been executed in Georgia were read aloud. People spoke about Bishop, who was quick to attend every religious service and friendly. He had developed a talent with art in prison.
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