PORTAGE | Family, friends and hundreds of community members touched by 19-year-old Amanda Bach's life filled the pews of Nativity of Our Savior Catholic Church on Friday morning for a funeral Mass.
In his homily, the Rev. Andrew Corona said while the 2011 Portage High School graduate's life was cut tragically short, family and friends should focus their memories on the time they spent with Bach.
"Her life should not be defined by the way it ended, but how she lived and how we love her," Corona told mourners, many of them Bach's classmates.
Corona compared the emotions felt from Bach's sudden loss to those felt during an unexpected power outage.
He said in an instant, without warning of thunder or lightning, all comfort ceased for those who loved the young woman and all white noise suddenly ended, leaving only absolute silence, emptiness and uncertainty.
"One minute the sun is shining, and the next, we're thrown into the darkness," Corona said. "In the space of a moment, our whole world is turned upside down."
Corona said while family and friends may feel anger at the way Bach's life ended, they must have faith and pray that light eventually will shine through the darkness they're experiencing and that justice will be done.
"God's passion for justice is fierce. He identifies so much with those who are the weakest among us," the pastor said.
Bach was found shot to death along the Canadian National railroad tracks in Union Township on Sept. 17, a day after her car was found abandoned in the parking lot of a Wheeler convenience store.
Dustin McCowan, 18, of Union Township, a former boyfriend, was arrested and charged with her murder. McCowan, who maintains his innocence, remains at Porter County Jail awaiting trial.