Friday, March 11, 2011
Gram Irene Received the Last Rites
While I was on a mission to assist someone in researching their family history, I ran into a death record for my beloved Great Grandma Irene.
Below is the Interment Record from Holy Angels Church in Sandusky, Ohio, which is accessible online at Family Search, under the category: Ohio Diocese of Toledo, Catholic Parish Records, 1796-2004. (Click on the image for an enlarged view.)
Irene Larkins Risko, who died from heart disease on September 17, 1961, was interred at Calvary Cemetery on September 20, 1961. The record states that Father Bishop administered sacraments to her. The website of the American Catholic states that the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, formerly known as the Last Rites, is a ritual of healing appropriate not only for physical but also for mental and spiritual sickness.
My mom always thought that Grandma Irene felt she was out of favor with the church because she had been divorced (and more than once.) In spite of that, she had a deep faith, and she felt very strongly that if prayers were offered up on Good Friday, that they were more likely to be answered. It gives me great joy to know that she received sacraments that were very important to her at the end of her life, which was filled with many ups and downs, and a lot of heartache. Had I not been browsing through church records online at Family Search, I never would have known this small, but so meaningful reassurance that my great grandmother found spiritual peace before she passed away. Grandma Irene had many failed relationships, and she lost both her parents and daughter before she died, but when I knew her, she was funny, generous, kind, and she had a heart that was filled with love for her family.