We often hear about the Corporal Works of Mercy and their significance to our stewardship efforts. As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops tells us, “The Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others as if they were Christ in disguise.”
The seven Corporal Works of Mercy are — to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the prisoners, bury the dead, and give alms to the poor. Here at St. Mary Catholic Church, we can participate in a Corporal Work of Mercy through the Funeral Luncheon Ministry. Lisa Lane has a large group she can call on for help with food, desserts, salads, setup, and cleanup. All men and women of the parish are invited to help.
“I think everyone involved volunteers their time out of love, a commitment to this ministry, their faith, or just their way of giving back,” Lisa says. “We have so many essential people who help out. We absolutely could not do the luncheons without all of their help.”
The typical menu is Caesar salad, potato salad or au gratin potatoes, fruit, nacho dip and chips, dinner rolls, pulled pork sandwiches, meatballs, and macaroni and cheese. Most of the items are made from scratch by the volunteers on the day of the funeral.
Lisa and her husband, Tom, took over this ministry from Steve and Janeen Cleland. Around the time Lisa and Tom retired, Steve and Janeen were looking for someone to take over. This ministry was a perfect fit because Lisa and Tom have food service experience, and Lisa had been helping when she could while she was still working.
“Tom and I each had a desire to give back, to do something as part of our faith, and to start doing more than just showing up on Sundays,” Lisa says.
The meal offers families the opportunity to be together after the funeral and share memories. It’s such a meaningful way to help parishioners and guests mourn the deceased and is an important ministry of hospitality.
“I think everyone volunteering wants to be there, to make a difference and give a little comfort,” Lisa says. “We are there for that family to do what little we can. I think I speak for everyone when I say we get so much more than we give by volunteering.”
Lisa and Tom hope to find another couple that can help lead this ministry — they would love to have a backup to take over when they are unable to be there. Being a part of this ministry and serving those who are burying a loved one has certainly impacted their faith.
“I think this has strengthened our faith — being around so many wonderful people helping make this ministry a success,” Lisa says. “The conversations we all have while working — about our faith, our questions — supporting each other, and the wonderful feeling of belonging to our Church have impacted us.”
To get involved in this ministry, contact Lisa Lane at 517-242-2312 or email@example.com.