The trip to South Bend was pleasant. I got to drive.
We arrived at St. Hedwig's just in time for Mass.
I think the church is beautiful. I know it is missing the marble altar splendor from the early days, but I love the pattern of the ceilings and the ornate posts.
Growing up Catholic, I take great comfort in the rituals of Mass and the ceremony of the Sacraments.
Here the priest, Father Cherbot walking around Jackie's casket with the thurible (incense pot). Incense is symbolic of prayers rising to God. At a funeral, not only are the prayers for the person who once occupied the body, but for the soul of the person will rise to God as the incense rises. Although I'm sure Jackie was already there.
The Mass was a tribute to Jackie - her brothers, aunts and uncles all participated. I felt a little bit like I was spying on a private family moment. You could tell that Jackie was loved - there was laughter mixed in with the tears. At least a dozen of her Special Olympics friends were there.
Purple was a favorite color of Jackie's- all of the family members were wearing something purple- down to Ron's socks.
There was a dinner after the funeral and burial. Traditional Polish foods - noodles, sweet cabbage and sausage. And the international church dinner dessert- pie.