Because We Are Catholic: Funeral Ministry Provides Help on Difficult Day

Members of the St. Ambrose Parish funeral ministry are, left to right, Connie Lantry, Leia Pereira, Ann Harding and Mary Colna.

By PAUL WIRTH Diocesan Communications Staff

The death of a loved one can be a very difficult time, for which many family members are never fully prepared.

At St. Ambrose Parish in Schuylkill Haven, members of the funeral ministry are there to help. For the past 15 years, they have been working to make the day of the funeral easier for the bereaved.

They help prepare the church for the Funeral Mass and are there to offer assistance and information to family members.

They also make Mass Cards available in the vestibule, providing a convenience for funeral attendees who want to purchase them.

It’s a satisfying way to help fellow parishioners, said Ann Harding, part of the funeral ministry team. It is a hard day for the family, she said, and judging by the many expressions of thanks they receive, people appreciate the gesture very much.

Others on the ministry include Mary Colna, Joan Demcher, Joan Sterner, Connie Lantry, Leia Pereira, Debbie Sterner, Mary Ellen Ker and Reginal Weller.

As a final help to the family, a team of volunteer bakers is on-call to provide a cake to take home on the day of the funeral. “There are probably people coming to the house,” said Harding. “We want to make sure the family has something to serve.”

“Because We Are Catholic” tells the stories of how the people of the Diocese of Allentown make a difference in the lives of others, bringing the Light of Christ to each other and to our community.