On Friday, May 20, after the Mass of Christian Burial for Lucy Magdalene Foh, St. Peter’s Parish was able to offer support to the Foh family and friends by providing a meal through our Bereavement Meal Ministry.
This ministry calls on parishioner volunteers to provide food and meal service in Neglia Hall to those attending the funeral Mass. Because of contributions received from families we have served in the past, we are sometimes able to purchase some of the food for the meal; however, most of what is served is contributed by our dedicated ministry volunteers and some mem-bers of our parish staff.
For this meal we were blessed with food contributions from Odessa Brinkman, Mary Callahan, Janice Cullen, Dode Difiori, Carol Fulton, Marybeth Griffin, Andrea Headley, Sarah Jur, Marybeth Mahrer, Joanne Metrick, Jennifer Penso, Barbara St. Louis, Cathy Saleeby, Peggy Thompson and staff members Parma Smith-Melendez, Lesley Stuart, and Donna Tomasini. The other members of the ministry support us in prayer whenever they are unable to participate on the day of the funeral.
Providing the food is only part of the ministry. Many of the ladies mentioned above also help with the set-up and clean up associated with the meal. These activities include covering and decorating the tables, setting out paper products and flat-ware, filling serving bowls, setting out food, serving at the beverage and dessert tables, replenishing food as necessary and helping guests find what they need. Clean up duties involve washing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen and Neglia Hall after the guests leave. Their greatest service is offering smiles and comfort to the family and friends of the deceased.
We can always count on Parma Smith-Melendez and David Scott to set up the right number of tables and chairs for each meal. We could not do this ministry without their help. Speaking of tables, we are blessed to have Peggy Thompson make beautiful fresh flower arrangements for each table whenever she is available to help with a meal.
I was reminded last week, by one of our volunteers, that our ministry gives parishioners the opportunity to practice three Works of Mercy: Feed the Hungry, Comfort the Sorrowful, and Pray for the Living and the Dead. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, our Holy Father has made practice of the Works of Mercy another way we can gain the Jubilee Year indulgence.
Two last items ambout the Bereavement Meal Ministry – 1. meals cannot be planned in advance! This is one reason we need a long list of volunteers to be sure enough people are available at short notice to offer their service; and, 2. Men are always welcome to join the tea!
On Pentecost Sunday, Father Linsky’s homily reminded us that WE are the Body of Christ present in the world today. He re-minded us that we ALL have something to contribute to the work of that Body. He challenged us to find our way to carry out the work of this Body, the Church.
If you feel called to join the Bereavement Meal Ministry contact Joanne Metrick at email@example.com. For more information from those participating talk to any of the members mentioned in paragraph 3. Thank you for taking the time to read this message and for giving it prayerful consideration.