IND. CATH NEWS REPORT: The funerals of the Polish family who died in a tragic domestic incident in Jersey last month are taking place this week.
Catholic Dean, Monsignor Nicholas France said: "The first funeral Mass will be held in St Thomas’ Catholic Church in St Helier at 10am on Saturday 24 September. It will be for Marta de la Haye (aged 34) and her daughter Julia (aged 5). They will be together in the same coffin. This is a practical solution to convey them by road to Poland.
"The purpose of a Catholic funeral is to pray for the deceased that they may find peace and rest in God’s embrace; it also offers to the bereaved the consolations of faith in Christ’s resurrection."
The Mass will be celebrated in English and Polish by Monsignor Nicholas France, Catholic Dean in Jersey and Father Jan Swiatek, Polish Catholic Mission priest in Jersey. Most of the music will be sung by the Polish choir. Later that day the bodies will be taken to Poland by car.
Before the funeral Mass for Marek Gaska (aged 56), his daughter Izabela Rzeszowska (aged 30) and her children, Kinga (aged five) and Kacper (aged two), their bodies will be cremated one by one at private services at the crematorium on Thursday 29 September. In the evening. the four caskets of their ashes will rest in front of the altar during the Mass in St Thomas’ Church in St Helier celebrated by Monsignor Nicholas France and Father Jan Swiatek. The ashes will then be repatriated to Poland for burial.
Mgr France said: "Amid the sadness of these last weeks, the good news is that so many people from all parts of the community have rallied round to show their sympathy and support in practical ways. From donations from the community at large, from grants from the States and from generous financial assistance from the Constable and Parish of St Helier, sufficient funds have been raised (in the region of £15,000) to cover all expenses both in Jersey and in Poland, which will relieve the bereaved relatives of any expense at all. The Church, Condor Ferries and others have all waived their fees. The Funeral Directors, Pitcher & Le Quesne, are just covering their costs. A full account of monies raised and audited will be given in a letter of thanks from the relatives at a later date."
The relatives of the deceased have asked that donations in lieu of flowers should be given to the Island charities ‘Help a Jersey Child’ and ‘Centre Point Trust’
For more information see: http://www.catholicchurch.org.je