Monday, June 12, 2006

High-school students
act as 'family' at paupers' funerals

Funeral director Ken Hardin shows the St. Xavier students where to place the casket of a homeless man near the prepared grave at River Valley Cemetery in Lousville, Kentucky.

Photo from the Louisville Courier-Journal.

None of the five young men carrying the casket knew Stanley League.

With no money, and no family to claim him, League had been destined for a lonely burial in a pauper’s grave. But students from the St. Joseph of Arimathea Society* acted as pallbearers at his funeral.

“Today, we are Stanley’s family,” their teacher said. “We are here to give him the dignity that Christ would have shown him.”

Cory Kress, 16, read from Matthew 25:34-46, in which Jesus tells the righteous they have done well by being kind to strangers, clothing the poor and feeding the hungry. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of least of these brothers of mine, you did for me,” he read.

"He was born with family," said 15-year-old pallbearer Ben Freeman. "Hopefully now he can rest in peace with family."

League's funeral was the sixth that the society's members have attended. The group was oragnized at Louisville’s St. Xavier High School in May to act as pallbearers at the funerals of homeless and indigent people.

Read the Louisville Courier-Journal report here. And see LA homeless blog's post here.

* St. Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy man who gave the body of Jesus a decent burial, according to the book of Matthew 27:57-60. By the way, he's also the one who hid the Holy Grail (the chalice of the Last Supper) in Cornwall, which led to the unsuccessful quest of the knights of King Arthur to find the Grail. Read more here and here.


At 12:22 PM, Blogger alyceclover said...

Thank you for sharing.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Anonymous Law Student said...

Wow, that's very nice of those kids. What a great story.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Rachel S said...

You gotta wonder how many people die each year with no family and no money for a decent burial.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Linda said...

Bless those kids. What a sad state of affairs, and yet for them to help out with something so horrific...those kids who helped have my respect and heart.

At 4:47 AM, Anonymous said...

I found so much useful data in this post!

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