Sofia's parents thank God for sharing "angel"
Murdered eight-year-old Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu was buried yesterday in Fremantle, WA, as her parents thanked God "for letting us share one of his angels for eight beautiful years."
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that no member of Sofia's family spoke at the funeral service. Instead, mourners were given a copy of a letter from the family that thanked God for the eight years they had with Sofia.
"We don't fully understand why she was taken now - not earlier, not later, and in this way, but we know there is a reason and we ask Sofia to help us find the road that will bring us together once again in heaven, when our time comes to be reunited with her," the letter read.
"We will miss Sofia, and keep her presence in our hearts every day to help us feel stronger. We know that she only wants us to be strong, united and happy."
According to the Sydney Morning Herald the parents clutched their children close and wept as the tiny white casket of Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu was carried into the church for her funeral.
For the community in south-west Perth, the girl's shocking killing last week has brought life's fragility into focus.
Her body was found last Monday, in a disabled toilet cubicle at the Livingstone Market Place shopping centre in suburban Canning Vale. She had been snatched away, sexually assaulted and murdered in just 10 minutes, in what police believe was a random attack.
At least 500 mourners crammed into the Mater Christi church next to Sofia's primary school, with hundreds more spilling into the courtyard outside, to pay their last respects.
Mater Christi principal Greg Stinton said Sofia had been a "gentle, polite and respectful" child who would be missed by all.
"She has been with our school for over four years now and during this time it has been a pleasure to know such a beautiful soul," Mr Stinton said.
Parish priest, the Reverend Bryan Rosling, said a "terrible evil" had been visited upon Sofia and her family. "It is only our faith and our hope that holds us together," Fr Rosling said.
Sofia was buried at Fremantle Cemetery. A 21-year-old man has been charged with murdering the girl and is due to face court again on July.
Sofia 'jumps queue' to heaven (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP 3/7/06)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Mater Christi Catholic Primary School, Yangebup
Sofia's family ask for prayers (CathNews 28/6/06)
4 Jul 2006