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Students to Hold Candlelight Vigil for Duesterhaus

Bishop O'Connell students will have candlelight "wishing" vigil for missing teacher

Past and present Bishop O'Connell students, and former students of , are holding a candlelight vigil Wednesday at Tuckahoe Park in his honor, according to a Facebook event. 

The event creators noted this is not a memorial service, but rather a "wishing service" for Duesterhaus' safe return. The vigil will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Tuckahoe Park.

Duesterhaus, , was last seen in Virginia Beach. According to relatives, Duesterhaus was supposed to start a four-day retreat June 20 in Virginia Beach. 

O'Connell administrators confirmed to Patch that Duesterhaus is . President Kathleen Prebble said in an e-mail Saturday morning that she could not comment on individual personnel matters, "out of respect for his privacy and in compliance with our policies."

Attendees of Wednesday's vigil are encouraged to bring friends and family, as well as candles, flowers, poems and pictures, in addition to any items they want. The event also states the vigil is intended to give students "a chance to keep [Tom] in our thoughts and keep the hope alive." And that, "it should be respectful and peaceful."

Duesterhaus' family is holding today at  8601 Wolftrap Road, in Vienna. 

Friends, colleagues and students are encouraged to attend tonight's prayer service to pray for Duesterhaus' safety and well-being, family said.

Erica R. Hendry reported for this story.

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