Bloomington parishioner dies on El Salvador mission trip

BLOOMINGTON — The Bloomington-Normal Catholic community this week is mourning David McKinney, an active member of Holy Trinity Parish here who died on Saturday, June 21, while on a mission trip to El Salvador.

McKinney, 54, apparently drown-ed while swimming in the Pacific Ocean near Playa San Diego.

He and 16 other members of the parish were on the second day of a 10-day trip to build homes for the poor in the small Central American nation. The group had organized the trip in response to a presentation at Holy Trinity last October by Millard Fuller, an international housing activist.

Msgr. Doug Hennessy, pastor of Holy Trinity, said McKinney was “very involved” at the parish, including with the RCIA team, Scripture study, and as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. In recent years he became a leader in Holy Trinity’s JustFaith group, studying and practicing Catholic social teaching.

“I would assure you he would have been one of the first to say ‘yes,'” to the invitation from Fuller to assist on a mission trip, said Msgr. Hennessy.
The pastor said that while very saddened, the remaining members of the mission team elected to remain in El Salvador and “build in honor of Dave,” remembering him in prayer wherever they go, including several Catholic shrines.

Other members of the El Salvador mission team from Holy Trinity Parish include Ellen Armstrong, Julie Dobski, Pat Ginder, Tom Ginder, Doretta Herr, Rebecca Herr, Bridget Larkin, Vickie Mehrt, Jim McNamara, Sharon McNamara, Connie Stanczak, Ken Toohill, Eliseo Valdes, Rachael Lockett and Maureen Wilson.

Born in Durango, Colo., McKinney attended high school in Dwight and then moved to Eureka and Bloomington. He is the father of two grown daughters, Katie and Maggie McKinney, both of Bloomington.

Msgr. Hennessy said the funeral will likely be during the first week of July after the mission team returns. Carmody-Flynn Williamsburg Funeral Home will handle arrangements. The funeral date and time will be announced on the parish Web site, which is providing a day-by-day report of the mission trip.

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