Yesterday and today I had both the blessing and honor to be a part of something really special. I would like to share the story with you.
As yesterday unfolded (Wednesday, March 19th) I was spending the morning at the Hispanic Helping Center, learning about their routines and services, how and when they use volunteers, and visiting with staff and volunteers about their duties. I also had the fortune to join a women’s group, to meet with them, interact with them and their children, and yesterday I even played a little guitar and sang for the young ones. Since it was spring break many of the mother’s had their children with them.
As the morning progressed one of the staff asked for my assistance. There was a young family who had just lost an unborn child to miscarriage. They had the child with them and wanted to know how they could properly bury him with honor. The staff person called Calvary Cemetery who offers free burial space and services to people who are in need of it. I also contacted Midtown Tulsa Chapel and who kindly donated a small coffin for their precious one to be buried in.
At Catholic Charities we celebrate Mass every Wednesday at noon, and invited the family to celebrate with us. The priest, Fr. Robert Dye, celebrated the Mass as much as he could in Spanish, even though he did not have a Spanish Sacramentary, and translated as necessary into either English or Spanish as needed. His kind words of support to the family, and the community of Catholic Charities staff was really something to be a part of.
This morning I met the family and their social worker at Calvary Cemetery for the graveside service that I was to officiate. I had my prayerbook in Spanish and did the best I could – God gave me grace. The graveside was just beautiful. Calvary had set up the normal all purpose carpet, about 6 chairs, and a small stand for the coffin. We had our prayer service, then lowered the child into her final resting place, then two of their workers helped to fill in the soil around him. The family laid flowers on his grave and we said another silent prayer as the mother, father, brother and sister each kissed their fingers and then touched the grass on the top of the grave.
This was such a wonderful way for this family to bring closure to a very traumatic moment in their lives. Thank you Catholic Charities, Fr. Rob, Calvary Cemetery, Midtown Tulsa Chapel, and especially thank you Jesus for helping all the pieces fall into place. It was such an honorable witness of Christians working together to care for someone in need. Truly this is Holy Week!