A funeral mass was celebrated in memory of Terri Schindler Schiavo yesterday. Her parents arranged the mass, which was attended by 800 people, some of whom sat and stood outside the church to listen to the mass over the loudspeakers, reported The Associated Press.
But Schiavo’s cremated remains were not present. Her husband will bury their daughter’s cremated remains at a separate service.
Fr. Thaddeus Malanowski, who gave Schiavo last rites before she died March 31, celebrated the mass at Most Holy Name of Jesus Church.
A photo of Schiavo, taken in the 1980s before she suffered brain damage, was placed on a table by the altar, next to a photo and gold bust of Pope John Paul II, who died two days later.
The Schindlers had opposed the cremation and hoped to bury their daughter in Florida. But her husband, Michael Schiavo, ordered her cremation and said her ashes will be buried in his family's plot in Pennsylvania, the state where Terri grew up and met her husband.
The Schindlers had asked a judge to let her be buried in Florida so they could visit the grave, but he refused to intervene.
Michael Schiavo has not said when the memorial service will be held, but he is under a court order to notify her parents.
"At this time, now that Terri has gone to meet our Lord, I continue to hope and pray that all of Terri's family members may seek and find healing and peace from God," Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg said in a statement.
The 41-year-old brain-damaged woman died 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.