My wife, Kelly, and I moved to Vashon Island, from downtown Seattle, with our baby daughter in September of 2001. We came here to embark on a rural life and start a small business building little wooden boats. Witnessing the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005 affected us deeply, particularly his simple wooden casket. The late Holy Father had played a large part in our lives:

  • In 1979, on his first apostolic visit to the U.S., when I (Marcus) was 11, my father took me and my brother to attend the Mass he celebrated in Logan’s Circle. The altar from that Mass was later installed in our suburban Philadelphia parish of Our Lady of the Assumption.
  • Floundering in my 20’s, Pope John Paul II’s radiant presence in Denver during World Youth Day and his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, called me up out of the murk.
  • And in 2002, old and frail though he was, it was his witness at World Youth Day in Toronto that demonstrated the enduring vitality of the Catholic faith to Kelly. So much so that she entered the Church the following Easter.

Now John Paul II is a canonized saint, we have seven children, and instead of little wooden boats for brief – daylong – adventures, we build a different wooden vessel for the greatest – everlasting- adventure of all.

Thank you for giving us the privilege of serving you.

In Christ Eternal,

Marcus Daly