Friends, relatives hold Schiavo service

.- Friends and family of Terri Schiavo gathered for a memorial mass for the 41-year-old woman who died two weeks ago after her feeding tube was removed. The mass was held at her childhood parish church in Philadelphia, where she also married Michael Schiavo in 1984. 

Schiavo's parents, brother and sister were in attendance. About 500 people filled Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, including uniformed students of the high school where Schiavo graduated, reported the Associated Press.

"If Terri's death has taught me anything, it is to make me starkly aware that matters of life and death are truly in our hands,'' Fr. Clemens Gerdelmann said in a homily. "Let us never be so bold and brazen as to think that we can better our lives at the expense of another's.''

Afterward, friends lined up to greet Schiavo's family in the basement of the Catholic school. Friends and relatives clustered in small groups to reminisce.

It is the fourth service the parents have held for Schiavo. A community memorial was held in Florida hours after she died, followed by a funeral mass and another memorial.

Michael Schiavo plans to hold a memorial service for his wife in Pennsylvania, where her ashes will be buried, but he has not said when. He is under court order to notify the parents of his plans.

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