UP Catholic 05 26 2017 E Edition Page 12

12 May 26, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC TWILIGHT www.upcatholic.org Kitchen crew aides grieving families through ministry BY LARRY CHABOT THE U.P. CATHOLIC They're often taken for granted, but parishes couldn't get along without them. They are the volunteer "kitchen crews" at churches through- out the diocese who set up, serve, and clean up for groups of all sizes, often bringing their homemade goodies for the buffet table. Many volunteers are known for the unique foods they make. When the "deviled egg lady" passed away at one parish, her assignment and egg tray were assumed by another volunteer. The aroma of frying fish marks parish fundrais- ers in sites like Escanaba, Houghton, Gulliver, Kingsford and Marquette. Many are known for their pasties, breakfasts, bake sales, and feasts for hunters. The most famous "pasty church" is probably St. Augustine in Republic - recently featured on the Travel Channel - which once baked a batch of 1,500 in a tradition dating to 1958. A squad of 50 pasty workers (some from other churches) help pay the bills, led by pastoral coordinator Sister Margey Schmelzle. St. Louis the King in Harvey is among the parishes renowned for quality meals and cheer- ful service. At funerals, grieving families are comforted by the obvious presence of Christian hospitality. A St. Louis legend recalls a local dea- con who requested a funeral-type luncheon for his ordination celebration. After his ordination to the priesthood, said parishioner MaryAnn Breni- er, he was back with another request for a funer- al-type meal because "our ladies do such a great job." One of the hard-working members of the St. Louis crew is Ann Clement, who heads the funeral lunch committee. She was on the team in the 1980s while working full-time at the Marquette Catholic Credit Union (where she retired as the manager after a 32-year career). Fifteen years ago, she took her place again on the kitchen com- mittee, which she now heads. She knits beautiful items for the Christmas bazaar and works other ministries, like manning a parish table at the county fair. "We have 12 regulars in the kitchen," she said. Among the changes in funeral meals is that more and more churches use caterers. She said only two Catholic parishes in the area - hers and St. Christopher - still provide homemade meals. When one family requested "chicken and beer," the St. Louis committee honored its wishes. "We average 12 to 15 funerals a year. In 2011, we had a high of 23 (including her son's)," Clem- ent said. It's especially difficult when the de- ceased was a family member or friend. In a spirit of community, all crew members wear St. Louis 3 Home-cooked meals a day Weekly housekeeping/laundry & daily activity schedule Centrally located & transportation to appointments Catholic Mass offered regularly on-site Retirement Excellence at Affordable Rates! (906) 863-3300 1110 10th Avenue Menominee, MI www.harborscommunity.com Harbors Retirement Community Now offering Adult Day Stay program! Caregivers can drop their loved ones off at our Safe Harbors Suite for a worry-free break. Call for information! Joel L. Keranen - Manager-Director, James R. Laurinaho - Director Karl J. Peterson - Director Joseph M. Panijan - Director Dustan J. Lequia - Director 26090 Pine Street Calumet, MI 49913 www.ericksoncrowleypeterson.com Phone (906) 337-4600 E-mail: ecpfh@att.net CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 COURTESY PHOTO From left to right, Camie Miller, Kris Rhein, Carol Lamirand, and Ann Clement assist in a funeral lunch at St. Louis the King Parish in Marquette. The ministry provides homemade dishes, as well as their service in assisting with the lunches. Find full issues of The U.P. Catholic online at www.upcatholic.org

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