Archbishop Richard Smith said he was heartsick when he was advised of the tragic death Friday of Father Gilbert Dasna, SMMM, a priest serving in the Diocese of Saint Paul. The Archbishop has issued the following statement:

“In solidarity with the clergy and faithful of St. Paul, I have asked the pastors in all parishes of the Archdiocese of Edmonton to include the following prayer in the general intercessions at Mass this weekend:

Let us pray for the repose of the soul of Father Gilbert Dasna, a priest serving in St. Paul diocese who was tragically killed on Friday. May the Lord welcome him into the joy of eternal life, and bless the members of his family and religious community, as well as the clergy and faithful of the St. Paul Diocese, with consolation and peace.

“This weekend Catholics around the world will be marking Good Shepherd Sunday, a day on which we pray particularly for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. So it is especially sad that the Church has lost one of her shepherds in this violent and senseless way at this time. We pray also for the family and friends of the other man who died in these events, and for the healing and recovery of the RCMP officers who were involved.”

The Diocese of St. Paul issued the following statement:

"The Most Reverend Paul Terrio, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of St. Paul, and the Catholic community of St.Paul mourn the untimely and violent death of Reverend Gilbert Dasna, SMMM, Associate Pastor of the St.Paul Cathedral Parish. Bishop Terrio and the faithful of the Diocese of St. Paul pray for the repose of the souls of Father Gilbert and of his alleged assailant as well as for the family and friends of the deceased.

"The Diocese of St.Paul awaits the completion of the police investigation of this tragedy before further commenting on the circumstances of the death of Reverend Gilbert Dasna.

"The death of Father Gilbert is deeply felt. He is mourned as a good man and a good priest who radiated daily both joy and peace. He died in his service as a priest to the people of St. Paul. Father Gilbert was born on February 28, 1982, in Cameroun. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 11, 2009, and served as Associate Pastor of St. Paul Cathedral from May 19, 2011, until his death. He died on May 9, 2014, the third anniversary of his arrival in Canada on May 9, 2011.

"The entire Catholic community of the Diocese of St.Paul grieves the death of Father Gilbert. Bishop Paul Terrio invites the catholic faithful of the Diocese of St. Paul to join together in prayer for the deceased and in thanksgiving for the life of Christian service of Reverend Gilbert Dasna, SMMM.