LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Thirty-seven coffins lined the aisle of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Thursday evening, adorned with floral arrangements and prepared for their final resting place.
The coffins held the bodies of people who have gone unclaimed in Lafayette Parish throughout 2017.
The remains included those of an elderly woman who died in a local nursing facility, a 31-year-old homeless man who suffered from diabetes, an unidentified woman known only as Jane Doe and two infants, among others.
Diocese of Lafayette Bishop Douglas Deshotel led the special All Souls Day Mass.
Deshotel said the Mass was a way to share the message of everlasting life with all.
“They are welcomed with open arms by God who created them out of love, who created them to share in His life forever,” Deshotel said during his homily.
Considered a Corporal Work of Mercy, the Mass is the result of a partnership formed in 2012 among the Cathedral, Catholic Services of Acadiana and the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office.