by Fr. Mike Conway, SDB
(Takoma Park, Md. – April 17) – On April 14 Catholics and other Christians around the world celebrated Palm Sunday, remembering Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. The celebration marked the beginning of the holiest of weeks, when Jesus lovingly and willingly underwent his passion and death out of love and in obedience to his Father and then rose from the dead for our salvation.
On that very day, after several years of battling cancer, Robert (Rob) Smith, a much beloved teacher, mentor, and friend of very many at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School, passed away at the age of 38. Thus concluded Mr. Smith’s own passion and, God willing, began the ultimate fulfillment of his belief and hope in the Resurrection.
Mr. Smith was a highly regarded math teacher and an integral part of our school community since 2008. He was well respected by peers and students and will be sorely missed. When news of his death was shared with the school community on Monday morning, the outpouring of grief was great—even teachers weeping openly. Yet students and staff all came together to comfort one another, trusting and believing that Mr. Smith no longer suffered and now rests with our Father in Heaven.
Elias Blanco, DBCR’s interim principal, voiced these thoughts to the students and staff: “Some words that describe who Rob was are kind, selfless, role-model, faith-filled, joy-filled, listener, inspirational, and more. I thank God for the life of Rob Smith, he touched the lives of all he met and I think he made us be better.
“Rob cared a great deal about our students and their education, he was also a man of prayer and encouraged others to a closer relationship with God, and he served without counting the cost or expecting anything in return. What a great example!”
DBCR’s students, staff, and alumni ask the readers of Salesian News to keep Mr. Smith, his family, and the DBCR school community in their prayers during this difficult time. Funeral services will be held on Easter Monday, April 22, at St. Jerome’s Church in Hyattsville, Md., at 11:00 a.m.