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Interfaith Memorial Service Celebrates Lives of Chicago’s Forgotten Poor

Thu, May 19, 2011

The Twenty-Sixth Annual Interfaith Memorial Service for Indigent Persons celebrates the lives of over 150 people buried by the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner over the past 12 months.

The service was established by the late W. Earl Lewis in 1986, so the community would have an opportunity to serve as a kind of surrogate family for those who died poor and alone. The service includes a reading of the names of those buried over the past year, musical selections, and devotional statements by representatives of a number of faiths. StreetWise Chicago Executive Director Jim LoBianco will deliver the keynote address.

Pat Smuck, the service’s director, sees the service as a call to action: “I think that every single person deserves a decent burial with someone to pray for them. This is an important issue for all faith-based people to address.” The service will be held Wednesday, May 25th at noon at The First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, 77 West Washington Street, in Chicago’s Loop.

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