It is a ministry that none of us want to take advantage of, but many of us will during the course of our lives. It is a ministry for which volunteers can't prepare ahead of time, indeed, often there is only a day or few at most to get ready. Sometimes the volunteers are not even sure how many to prepare for. It is our Funeral Luncheon ministry, which has been under the exceptional leadership of Paul and Mary Valliere since March, 2007. At this time, Paul and Mary have provided meals for 93 funeral luncheons. Sometimes months go by without this need, and sometimes we have a couple of funerals and luncheons in the same week. Whatever the case may be, Paul and Mary jump right in, along with their dedicated crew, and plan the menu and buy the food. Often they and their crew are here in the church the day before prepping and cooking the food, which they typically do the day before the luncheon. On the day of the luncheon, the Valliere's and helpers are here at the church early setting tables, preparing drinks, and readying the food for serving. The fellowship and sense of community our grieving families experience through this ministry is invaluable during their time of loss. Relieving grieving families from the burden of arranging meals for relatives and friends following a loss is one of the most important things we as a parish can offer.
We are blessed here at St. Barnabas to have a social hall which can be used for this type of gathering. Whether it be for a funeral luncheon, a potluck, or just coffee and donuts after Mass, our social hall provides a venue for parishioners to meet and greet each other and engage in fellowship that deepens their parish life.
So we offer our heartfelt thanks to Paul and Mary, Walter & Marge Kozacki, Peggy & Richard Post, Bob & Margie Riffle, Dana and Paulette Wardwell, and Cindy and Sylvia Porach who offer their talent and time in our Funeral Luncheon Ministry. Their constant "yes" to this need, which again presents itself with no warning, is a testament to their love and care for our parish!