On November 5, 1997, our dear daughter and sister Angela slipped from a mountain trail and over a cliff while hiking with her classmates at Thomas Aquinas College. She fell 60 feet, and lay injured but conscious in a ravine for three hours waiting for rescuers to reach her. Jon Daly and Shannon Gaffney, climbed down the cliff in the dark to her, and stayed with her while another student, Roy Johnson, ran down the mountain for help. Jon gave her his rosary beads to hold.
"The whole time she prayed with us instead of crying out from the great pain she was in."
As she lay waiting and dying, Angela prayed for two intentions specifically; aborted babies and her dad. She did not complain of the pain, she merely prayed the Rosary and to her guardian angel. The students, rescue workers, and medical staff who were with Angela in her last hours all were amazed at her courage and peaceful demeanor, despite the pain from a broken back, pelvis, arm, two legs, and massive internal injuries and bleeding. As rumours came down from the mountain, that a student had fallen, students quickly filled up the school chapel in prayer. John Finley and Mark Kretschmer, upon hearing of the accident, climbed up the trail to Angela, bringing what medical supplies that were on hand at the campus.
The paramedics carried her out of the ravine to a place where she could be lifted to the helicopter and flown to nearby Ventura County Hospital. Angela was still alert, with Jon's rosary still in her hand. At the hospital, Father Bartholomew de la Torre, a TAC chaplain, administered the Last Sacraments, and she was wheeled into surgery. Her heart stopped on the operating table, and could not be revived. It was 1:00 a.m. on November 6th.
" There is no doubt that Angela's death was holy. There must have been so many angels surrounding us on the mountain. And how fitting the prayer she kept wanting to repeat, with the words "...pray for us now and at the hour of our death..." I'm sure the Blessed Mother was holding her close even then."
The students at Thomas Aquinas have erected a hand-made, 6 foot cross above the spot where Angela fell and the trail has been diverted from the cliff. Since her death, the students have shared stories about Angela that give us (the Baird family) great consolation. In the two months prior to her death, Angela had begun to attend daily mass, daily rosary, and spending a great deal of time in private prayer in the chapel. Angela had been visiting the women in a local prison, teaching them the Catholic catechism, and sponsoring two of these women in the sacrament of Confirmation. We have been told that Angela was responsible for getting a large number of these women prisoners to the sacrament of Confession, even against opposition of others who did not feel that it was important. She went weekly to the local abortion clinic, Family Planning Associates, to offer sidewalk counseling to women seeking abortions. Angela loved the unborn greatly and always asked other students to go with her. On the Thursday that she died over 100 students went to her usual spot outside of the abortion clinic. They recited fifteen decades of the rosary for the repose of her soul and for the unborn.
Please sign the guestbook before you leave the site! Thank you, The Baird Family.
Prayer for the Helpless Unborn
Heavenly Father, You create men