“Heart and soul of the parish.” West Harrison mourns choir director who died in kayak accident
A Westchester community is mourning the loss of a longtime resident who drowned while kayaking Monday night.
Church members in West Harrison held a special Mass and prayer ceremony Wednesday to honor their longtime choir director, Laurence Broderick, whose body was found in the Long Island Sound.
Parishioners at Saint Anthony's Church held the Mass and holy hour to remember the 45-year-old man who was attempting to kayak from Hempstead Harbor, Long Island to Mamaroneck Monday night as the nor'easter was intensifying, but didn't make it back.
The Coast Guard recovered his body near Orchard Beach in the Bronx on Tuesday.
His kayak and personal items were found at Glen Island Beach in New Rochelle.
Parishioners remember Broderick as a man far more than a music director at St. Anthony's Church. They say he was a beautiful soul who will be sorely missed. "Whether you were a parishioner who came in here for the first time or you were here for decades, Laurence truly cared about you, and he loved you. And he was not afraid of showing that. He was just the gentlest soul and he breathed life into this parish, if we say that the priests are the brains of this parish, Lawrence was the heart and soul of the parish," said St. Anthony of Padua Church choir member, Jeff Michael.
"Lawrence is an example of take your talents and just give glory to God by using them. Take your life and give glory to God by living it to the fullest, and he is an example of that," says Father Tom Byrnes, of St. Anthony of Padua Church.
He was also a teacher at the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Scarsdale where the grief is heavy among his students and colleagues.
Funeral visitations are set for Monday, Nov. 1 from 2 p.m. - 9 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary.