NEWTOWN, Conn. - A single bell repeatedly rang a sad, slow beat Thursday at the Connecticut funeral of a 6-year-old girl killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, while a cardinal in New York compared a slain teacher to Jesus for giving up her life to protect others.
In Newtown, mourners hurried through the packed parking lot of St. Rose of Lima Church to attend the funeral Mass for Catherine Hubbard. Catherine's family said in her obituary that she would be remembered for her passion for animals and her constant smile.
Catherine was among the 20 students and six teachers killed when a gunman invaded their school Dec. 14.
Funerals were also scheduled in Connecticut on Thursday for 7-year-old Grace McDonnell and 6-year-olds Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, Jesse Lewis, and Allison Wyatt.
A long line of mourners waited to enter a memorial service for teacher Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau.
In New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan told mourners at the funeral of Anne Marie Murphy, 52, that the teacher "brought together a community, a nation, a world, now awed by her own life and death." Murphy's father, Hugh McGowan, said authorities told him that she died trying to protect her young pupils.
"Like Jesus, Annie laid down her life for her friends," Dolan said. "Like Jesus, Annie's life and death brings light, truth, goodness and love to a world often shrouded in darkness, evil, selfishness and death."