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Service Today For 165 Who Died As Indigents

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Indigent Service
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Today at noon, Chicago will remember 165 men and women who have died over the past 12 months–and were buried as indigents.

Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports, this is the 26th annual interfaith memorial service for indigent persons.

Pat Smuck, of the Chicago Archdiocese, has helped organize every one of them. Most of those attending the services never knew the names of the dead.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports

But one service she remembers in particular, when a minister read a woman’s name.

According to Smuck, the minister then said, ‘Oh, I know this woman. She’s in my congregation. I just visited her. I would never have allowed her to be buried in a pauper’s grave if I’d known.

“And then she said, ‘Well, maybe she’s very happy with the rest of the people. Because it’s not where the grave is. It’s where their soul is.”

This year’s service at First United Methodist Church – Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington, remembers 165 people, including five listed in the program not by name, but as “known only by God.”

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