Rafael Ramos was an unusual cop.
He saw the streets of New York as his ministry.
In fact, he was just hours away from becoming a lay chaplain and graduating from a community-crisis chaplaincy program before he and fellow New York police Officer Wenjian Liu were gunned down in their patrol car a week ago in Brooklyn.
The gunman in the two officers’ killing, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, was found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wounds at a subway station immediately after the slayings.
Ramos will be remembered at a funeral service Saturday morning. A police honor guard has taken his casket into Christ Tabernacle in Glendale, New York.
Ramos, 40, enjoyed the spiritual dimension to life and work.
“He told me that his job even with the NYPD, he felt he was doing God’s work,” the Rev. Marcos Miranda, president of the New York State Chaplain Task Force, told Arise America on YouTube.
“He felt that he was protecting and serving his community and that was a sort of a ministry for him. And I totally agreed with him,” Marcos said. “He said this type of ministry, the chaplaincy, he could see himself doing this in the future as a full-time ministry after he retired from the NYPD.”
Marcos heads an organization that runs the 10-week course for lay chaplaincy, which Ramos completed, the minister said.
UPDATE: After I posted this item, I got an email from a friend of mine, a woman whose late husband was both a deacon and a former member of the NYPD. She told me she knows a lot of Catholics who go to church at the Christ Tabernacle because “they feel they get something from the services.”
Meantime, check out the interview with Rev. Marcos Mirando below.