Funeral Ministry

Established 1987

Left to right: Mary Gustafson, Mary Barkmeier, Norma Beri, Adeline Smith, Pat O’Hayre, Vi Harris (June 2003)

Left to right: Mary Gustafson, Mary Barkmeier, Norma Beri, Adeline Smith, Pat O’Hayre, Vi Harris (June 2003)

Our Lady of Fatima funeral ministry serves food and beverages at funeral receptions of deceased parishioners and parishioners’ family members. The typical meal served consists of fried chicken, lasagna, a mixed vegetable dish, potatoes au gratin, coffee, punch and a variety of salads and desserts. In the summer the meal is adjusted to provide lighter food. The ministry provides light refreshments if that is what the deceased’s family desires.

The ministry currently consists of approximately 135 members who provide deserts and salads. Four or five members usually work at the receptions and there are twenty members who do this. The parish provides entrees, beverages and supplies. Potatoes and vegetables are prepared and furnished by volunteers. The capacity of the Monsignor Schmitt Parish Center limits the size of the reception to under 200 people. Food for the reception costs the parish approximately two dollars per attendee. Currently, the parish requests a contribution from families of one to two hundred dollars to defray the costs of food and supplies. Except for two years, contributions have covered the parish’s costs.

Prior to 1987 The Altar and Rosary Society provided a cake and cookie reception limited to 50 people. After a member of the O’Hayre family died, Pat O’Hayre asked the pastor, Monsignor Schmitt, for permission to provide a meal at receptions. He agreed and the first meal was served on August 4, 1987. At that time, the parish did not provide funds, but the Altar and Rosary Society helped if contributions were inadequate. When Father Melvi Thompson became pastor in 1989, he made funeral meals a separate ministry of the church. Pat O’Hayre served as the chair until 1993 when she returned to work full-time. At that time, Mary Barkmeier, the current chair, took over. Pat continues to provide food and work.