Archbishop Ryan H.S. honors Officer Pawlowski

March 10, 2009 9:43:19 AM PDT
This morning students at Archbishop Ryan High School in Northeast Philadelphia came together for a memorial mass. They prayed and remembered former student and fallen police officer John Pawlowski. Hundreds of Archbishop Ryan students filled the auditorium for the early morning memorial mass honoring Officer John Pawlowski, who attended the Northeast Philadelphia school. A photograph of the officer was placed before the stage as this young congregation prayed for the fallen officer and the family he left behind.

Rev. Joseph Shenosky told those in attendance, "He was only 25-years-old. His family and friends thank God for the time they had with him."

Officer Pawlowski was shot and killed on February 13th responding to a robbery at Broad and Olney. He worked in the 35th district and this morning his lieutenant addressed the students who sat listening - silent and solemn.

"Johnny made the decision to come with us into the 35th district. Made the decision to be a real cop and a good cop," Lt. Kevin Cooke told the students with a pause. "He made a decision to be a hero."

Officer Pawlowski's father in law, aunt and uncle attended this morning's memorial service. His wife, Kim, now 6 months pregnant with their first child, was said to be too upset to attend the public gathering.

The students we talked to were clearly moved by the mass and mindful of the prayers and their meaning.

This was the second time this school year that Archbishop Ryan has held a memorial mass for a former student and police officer killed in the line of duty. Sergeant Patrick McDonald was shot and killed September 23rd 2008.

Pawlowski and McDonald are two of the six Philadelphia police officers killed within the last 16 months.

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