Read: Rest in Peace | A Prayerful Interment for Uncollected Ashes | All Souls' Day 2021

Here are some poignant images of Bishop Boyea of Lansing providing a fitting and prayerful interment for the ashes from the Sparrow Medical Examiner's Office that have gone unwanted and uncollected over the past year at Saint Joseph Cemetery in Lansing, November 2, All Souls’ Day.

“All Souls’ Day is set aside to honor and pray for those who have died. It is fitting that on this day we, as Catholics, look for those who have no one to see to their final disposition and to honor and pray for them,” said Jim Collom of Saint Martha Parish, Okemos, who organized the Rite of Committal with Final Commendation. 

“The thirty men, women and children interred on All Soul’s Day are our neighbors and they, like each of us, were made in the image of God. They are due respect and dignity. It is my immense honor to be able to ensure that they receive a dignified interment and a place of rest.”

Jim is a candidate for the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Lansing. He undertook to organize the burying of the dead as a corporal work of mercy. In total the cremated mortal remains of 30 deceased persons were interred; 26 adults and 4 children including still-born babies who were never collected by their parents.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

* Photographs by Michelle Hildebrandt