Catholics in Missouri and across the country remembered Fr. Evan Harkins Tuesday as a good priest, and urged prayer for the repose of his soul.
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph announced the priest’s death on Jan. 28.
Harkins “had apparently taken his own life,” the diocese said in a statement.
“In the face of this devastatingly tragic news, we ask that you pray for Fr. Harkins, his family, and the parish and school communities that he served as well as all of our priests,” the statement added.
Harkins was ordained a priest in 2010, and was serving as pastor of St. James Catholic Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. He also oversaw the nearby St. Patrick Catholic Church as parochial administrator. He was, according to his LinkedIn profile, studying at the Catholic University of America for a degree in canon law.
Harkins was ordained a priest at 24 years old, nearly three months shy of the required canonical age of 25, with a dispensation from his bishop. Before his ordination, he told the Catholic Key that he first began thinking about becoming a priest at eight years old.
His parents supported his vocation. The oldest of five children, Harkins attended a seminary high school. He then enrolled at Conception Seminary College in Missouri, followed by major seminary at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis.
In 2010, Harkins described to the Catholic Key his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Through her intercession I grew in holiness. A priest stands in the person of Christ, absolving sin, and in the person of Christ saying ‘This is my body.’ Therefore we should be as Christ-like as possible, and part of that is drawing close to His mother, Our Lady,” he said.
Harkins also told the Catholic Key about his enthusiasm for the priesthood.
Read more at Catholic News Agency