Whenever we write a news story, it has to be classified in a "Category". Either local, Acadiana, state or national, you know something like that. But while this story is news, it also has opinion, so that I can write what I wish.

I read a post from Lance Strother who is the Director of Campus Ministry at St. Thomas More High School.

He was asked to be part of a committee who would help to remember, via a ceremony, the unclaimed and forgotten homeless in our community.

Tonight there will be a rosary at 5 p.m. at St. John's Cathedral in downtown Lafayette followed by a mass to remember them with dignity. He is inviting anyone in Acadiana to attend tonight and fill up St. John's.

I think it is beautiful, kind and caring that so many in our community will join forces tonight to remember, with dignity, those in our community who have no biological family to give them a dignified ceremony.

Nobody will argue about the election, political parties or what happens after the election Tuesday. There just people coming together for other people.

It is just another reason why our community is so great.

There are 61 people that will have a funeral. Sixty-one people who have no one to claim them. It makes me wonder so many things like do they have family; did they have friends; did someone love them. It's painful to think of people alone, but I admit, I feel powerless to help.

Lance Strother writes on Facebook that our community is going to become their family tonight. He writes about all the different people coming together tonight to make this "Unclaimed & Forgotten" burial possible. He writes that these people that have helped to make this happen are from all walks of life:

"Thanks to the following people/churches/schools/organizations who will be serving as Pallbearers: STM, Ascension Episcopal, Vermillion Catholic, Teurlings, Catholic High of New Iberia, ACTS Retreat, St. Pius, Asbury Methodist, Sacred Heart, Holy Cross, Family Missions Company, Diocese of Lafayette, Lafayette Catholic Services, Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission, Young Life Lafayette, and others. We have engineers, neuropsychologists, custodians, school administrators, hospital administrators, foreign missionaries, ENT doctors, veterans, bankers, students, campus ministers, youth ministers, preachers, deacons, old, young, crippled, self employed business women & men, secretaries, teachers, musicians, homeless".

I want to say, "Thank you" to Lance Strother and the other volunteers who are giving these gifts to our fellow human beings. They are banding together to show love to people who may not have felt that they were loved at the end.

No matter what the lives of these unclaimed and forgotten individuals were like, one thing is true, these volunteers are giving them a dignified end to their earthly walk, and I'm grateful yet again, to say I live in Lafayette.

While I can't attend tonight, I can do one thing, I can give a donation to help cover some of the expenses of the burial plots and entombment costs by sending a private message to Lance. So I did that.

If you can't do that, that's okay of course, but would you say a prayer? I plan to do that too. I plan to say a prayer of thanks that I can send a little money; another prayer of thanks that I have family and friends that will care for me until my turn; a prayer for each of the sixty-one of these people who lived in Acadiana; and a prayer for these wonderful volunteers who are coming together tonight to be the family and friends of these men and women who had no one to claim them as their own. Thank you for your kindness and your love. Thank you for your faith in action as Christians. It reminds me of one of my favorite songs:

"They'll Know We Are Christians by Our Love
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.
Songwriter: Peter Scholtes"

May God bless each of you.




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