My name is Br. Fred Dilger and my ministry involves working with the poor at the St. Francis Inn Ministries in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.
One morning, as I was walking into our soup kitchen, I was alerted that one of our regular guests was not moving. I knelt down, and I realized that she was completely unresponsive. I knew then that she had passed away and there was nothing we could do. We called 911, and we waited. Within two hours the police, paramedics and coroner had arrived, as well as many guests who were devastated.
We at St. Francis Inn wanted to find a way to celebrate this woman. A woman who had no family but was deeply loved by the volunteers, the Friars, and all our guests. Small memorials were formed around the area where she had passed, but it was hardly the service or burial that she deserved.
At the St. Francis Inn, we witness about three to four deaths each year. Some of these people are homeless and unnamed, and others are elderly with no family. Unfortunately, most of our families are unable to costs of a proper, dignified burial.
Seeing this first hand, I urge you to help support the Franciscan Friars newest program- “Remember Them…”- a program to bury the Forgotten Dead. “Remember Them…” assists Franciscan Ministry sites like the St. Francis Inn, allowing us to give our friends a dignified funeral service and burial. Is a non-denominational program which will assist in the burial of anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, lifestyle, or spiritual or non-spiritual beliefs.
“Remember Them” believes that even though these people may have been forgotten in life, the Franciscans will remember them in death.