What can I do since my Catholic great-grandmother was not given a Catholic burial?

My Great-Grandmother died in 1995-- she had severe Alzheimer’s Disease and suffered with it for nearly a decade. The demise was quick and painful to all her family. She was a convert to the Catholic Church in the late 50’s and practiced the faith along with her husband. Her family, however, is not Catholic and her wishes, due to the disease, were left entirely in the care of her non-Catholic family. I have come into the Catholic Church this Easter and have been reflecting on the life and death of my Great-Grandmother who proved a great inspiration to me. I have also had great anxiety lately, and perhaps I should not. I do not have any reason to believe that she received the Anointing of the Sick, but I simply do not know. I do not know if she received a Catholic Funeral, but I am inclined to believe that she didn’t. I don’t even know how to find out… no one is still living that would know as far as I can tell. I do know what parish she attended, though. What if anything can I do? I make sure to always pray for her when we pray for those who have died at mass. Thanks!


Go to your parish office and ask to have a Mass offered for the repose of her soul. They will ask you to make an money offering. It’s used to pay for altar breads and wine and candles and other Church expenses. Try to be present when the Mass is offered. But if you can’t, pray for her when you are able to go to Mass. We will pray for her as well.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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