If you are not a part of the Franciscan community, then you might not have heard that one of our recent graduates died last week. His name was Tyler Peltier. Apparently he died of a heart attack while biking. He just graduated in May with a Theology degree and two weeks from now he was going to Africa to do missionary work. Tyler was 22 years old.
I did not know Tyler. But as a professor I feel a kind of patrimony for all of our students and he has been on my heart and in my prayers ever since I heard the news. Today, as I looked for a picture of him to use for this blog, I realized that, though I didn’t know him, I certainly know many of his friends. I’m praying for everyone who is experiencing his loss, especially his family.
Yesterday the Mass on campus was offered for him (as was the Sunday Mass at the Youth Conference.) Fr. Gregory mentioned Tyler’s last Facebook message was something to the effect of, “I’ve got my tickets now. There’s no turning back.” He was speaking of his upcoming trip to Africa. But in light of his death, the spiritual meaning of what Tyler wrote is obvious.
When I was a freshman in high school, a senior who was very active in my youth group died in a car accident. In my sorrowful prayer for him I opened up my Bible and God led my eyes to see this passage from Wisdom. When I heard of Tyler’s death, it was the first thing I thought of:
The upright, though he die before his time, will find rest. Length of days is not what makes life honorable, nor number of years the true measure of life; understanding, this is grey hairs, untarnished life, this is ripe old age. Having won God’s favor, he has been loved and, as he was living among sinners, has been taken away… Having come to perfection so soon, he has lived long; his soul being pleasing to the Lord, he has hurried away from the wickedness around him. —Wisdom 4:7-10, 13-14
None of us knows the time or manner of our death. As Christians, we are all called to be ready for the coming of the Lord, whether that be individually or when Jesus comes again in glory. From what I’ve heard about Tyler, he had his “tickets,” not from an airline, but from leading a holy life. And he was ready to go, even though those who love him might not have been ready to give him up.
Rest in peace, Tyler Peltier. I hope to get to know you better in heaven.
As a household brother of Tyler’s, I would like to thank you, Bob, for dedicating this post to Tyler. What a beautiful message from the book of Wisdom as well. Tyler set for us a true example of what it means to be ready for death; or ready for life, rather.
As the mother of a child who met Tyler the summer of 2011 at a Franciscan Lead program I must say this has had a sorrowful impact. However, your post has packed quite a spiritual impact on my heart! My prayers for all of Tylers family and friends and God Bless You Mr. Rice for your wisdom to recall this passage from the book of Wisdom. God Bless and God Speed Tyler, may you Rest In Peace!
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Thank you so much for your beautiful post. I am from Tyler’s home parish is San Antonio and your words and the words from Wisdom are helpful at this time. We all miss him so much.
As a mother of a graduated Franciscan, now all you Franciscan students have someone new to pray to, to intercede to on your behalf ….one of your own. How blessed are you…and what a gift he left to you all.
God Bless you all…Mrs. Jacquie Meleney
Bob, Thank you so much for writing this. The great outpouring of love on blogs and Facebook show what a lovable guy Tyler was. He was preparing to go to Malawi through Missions of Hope, and the organization has put up a link on their website where people can email their condolences to Tyler’s family. Check out bringhope.org and we would like to encourage everyone to send Tyler’s parents their sympathy and words of encouragement — they can certainly use it at this time.
Thank you for your words of comfort to the two communities that are grieving for this amazing young man…your university and Tylers parish , Holy Trinity in SanAntonio, Texas….He has met Jesus…How awesome that must have been.
I did not meet Tyler, but as a catholic , I will pray for his rest and for his family.
Deepest condolences to the Peltier family. Paul, Bibi, Elizabeth, Tia Ruth – our thoughts, prayers, and love to all of you from your Ohio family.
Im sorry to hear about this young man passing; truely a tragety. My heart goes out to all who knew & loved him.
My condolensces to the entire Franciscan family, as well as Tyler’s.
My deepest sympathies to the Family. I did not know Tyler but I know my cousin Bibi and especially my Aunt Ruth so I know he had to be a special person. My love goes out to you all.
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