Funeral Dinners Ministry: Offering Comfort To Those In Mourning
When a family opts for a meal following a funeral at our parish, one of four groups help. The group, consisting of about five people, gathers before the funeral to make a meal of meat, potatoes, beans, corn, and rolls. Others in the group volunteer by bringing salads and desserts. Each group has about 30 people to call on for cooking, salads, and desserts.
For family and friends of the deceased, often coming from out of town, this ministry provides hospitality and comfort to those who have experienced a tough few days.
“When there is a mother or dad that dies and the kids are located out of town, or the sisters or brothers are out of town, this is one way to unite the families and give them a place to visit after the funeral,” says Marcia Tushaus, who has been involved with the ministry for many years. “They have the opportunity to take pictures of who is around, and that is a good thing for them.”
Marcia enjoys being able to provide a space for people to process the loss they have just experienced and not have to worry about space and a meal. From setup to cleanup, the Funeral Dinner ministry is there to help.
“When we provide this opportunity, families can gather around a table and avoid the stress of making food,” Marcia says. “When they sit down to eat, the tough part of that day is hopefully over — the cemetery, Mass, and greeting people.”
Marcia says for this important show of hospitality to continue, more help is needed as many members are getting older.
“The leads of the groups have been doing this ever since we started this, so for many years,” Marcia says. “We need more people to step forth to help.”
Marcia chuckles when asked if groups combine for a dinner.
While this is a beautiful ministry of hospitality, it is also one that is “behind the scenes,” as Marcia points out.
“People don’t know about it until they need it,” she says.
Marcia also acknowledges the many men and women who help and have helped over the years, from making the meals to bringing salads and desserts.
“We deeply appreciate those that help — without them, it wouldn’t happen,” she says. “They don’t get pats on the back very often.”
Marcia wants others in our parish to experience the blessings of this hospitality ministry.
“It’s good to help out in this way so the family can be together,” she says.
A group leader is needed to make a fifth group, but help is appreciated with every part of this ministry. To volunteer or for more information, please call Marcia Tushaus at 217-222-3370 or David Hildebrand at 217-455-3822.