As a teen, a time when so many question their beliefs and their place in the world, Lynbrook resident Sean Finnegan was surefooted in his path of faith and service, those who knew him said Monday.
In his college life, those core values were manifest in his roles as a Catholic eucharistic minister and peer minister, as well as his course of study, psychology.
Yet even as they mourned his death, those who knew Finnegan remembered his kindness and devotion.
"When he had the freedom to choose whether he was going to live his faith or not, he chose to live it," said the Rev. James Williams, president of Chaminade High School, from which Finnegan graduated in 2006. "Sean owned his faith experience."
A track runner and honor student in high school, Finnegan made time to visit nursing home residents and to volunteer in a local bird sanctuary, among other projects, Williams said.
At college, Finnegan joined the campus fraternity Alpha Phi Delta, worked for campus dining services, and participated in a faculty-student association.
Daniel Klein, a psychology professor, said Finnegan had recently participated in a child psychology research program.
In addition to his ministry at church, Finnegan sang in the choir at Sunday Mass, said Sister Margaret Ann Landry, chaplain of the university's Catholic Campus Ministry.
"He was a young man of integrity who was very much admired by the students and had a strong faith," Landry said.
SERVICES FOR SEAN FINNEGAN
WAKE: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Flinch and Bruns Funeral Home on Hempstead Avenue in Lynbrook
FUNERAL MASS: 10:45 a.m. Thursday, St. Raymond of Penyafort Church, 263 Atlantic Ave., East Rockaway