Lafayette

Apr 27, 2012 7:19 PM by Maddie Garrett

Burial Services to be Held for More Than 100 Unclaimed Bodies

The Lafayette Catholic Diocese will hold special burial services Saturday morning for more than 100 unclaimed bodies. 95 adults and 13 infants will be laid to rest at St. John's Cathedral. It's a ceremony two years in the making and the first of its kind for the Diocese.

They were veterans, elderly, homeless and babies, all died with no one there to take care of their bodies. Most of the babies were miscarriages.

"We feel that it's important as a community of faith that we honor the lives of those in our community, you know just because of the dignity we have as humans," said Kimberly Boudreaux, Executive Director of Lafayette Catholic Service Centers.

Boudreaux took on the task of receiving the bodies from the coroner's office and organizing burial services, working with St. John's Cathedral and Cemetery Manager Brady Leblanc.

"What's the most beautiful thing is that we will be their family tomorrow, we will be their brothers and sisters that carry them to their final place of rest," said Leblanc.

Adults were cremated and will be buried in a columbarium, newly built for the unclaimed. Infants will be buried in a separate memorial location near the church.

"The dignity of each human person, even after death, should be held in great esteem, the body should be reverenced and buried," explained Leblanc.

The services give new meaning to the saying, "gone, but not forgotten."

Bishop Michael Jarrell will celebrate the Mass, which will take place Saturday at 10:00 A. M. in St. John's Cathedral. A vigil will be held prior to the Mass. That service will feature the praying of the Rosary and the reading of the names of the deceased. The vigil will be held in the Cathedral Center and begins at 8:30 A. M.

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