St. Clair church holds funeral for 9 Metro Detroiters remains left unclaimed
GROSSE POINTE, Mich. (FOX 2) - Nine people who died in the Detroit area didn't have family or loved ones who could say goodbye when the died - so a Grosse Pointe church held a special mass just for them.
St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church held the service Wednesday morning for nine people who had no one to lay them to rest.
The names - Margaret Campbell, Kathy Chester, Danial DeLarosa, Sharon Hamilton, Dennis Konvinski, Spyridon Koukogiannis, Herbert McDowell, Albert Rogers, and Geraldine Williams - were read Wednesday as a bell signified the message the church is sending: you may be gone but not forgotten.
"Potentially with the names being out there somebody may come forward and there may be some peace and comfort given to people that don't know what happened to somebody in their lives," organizer Sue Buckley said.
The church has done this before for remains that aren't claimed. In some cases, family members end up coming forward. When they do, they can know their loved one was cared for in some way.
The church started the funeral mass for a member of the community in 2015 during the Lenten season. They say the service is an act of mercy and Catholic students often help.
"Just give everyone an equal opportunity after death to have some compassion shown towards them," said Tristan Trumbach, who served as a pallbearer
Verheyden Funeral Home reached out to the church for Wednesday's service for nine remains that were never picked up.
Now they've been honored in death, even if their last moments in life were alone.
"Since we are Christians we do believe in an afterlife and we believe that Jesus will be there for us and no matter what our life was there is an opportunity to have eternal life with him," organizer Gina Serraiocco said.
This is the fourth time the church has held a service for people who had no one to claim their remains.