A Proper Christian Burial After 10 Years: How SVdP Was Able to Help Make it Happen

This is a story about Charise Kotkoski who died alone in a house fire 10 years ago and with the help of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago-ADC, her remains were finally laid to rest.

Bill and Sue Kushnerik of Oak Lawn had read about Charise in a magazine and had recognized who she was. They wanted to ensure that she was given a Christian burial so they began the process of going through the proper channels. Bill and Sue approached St. Linus who in turn helped guide them through the paperwork process of claiming her remains. Then, someone at St. Linus had learned of two graves that had been donated at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park. With this information, Bill and Sue reached out to the St. Linus SVdP Conference to find a contact in Forest Park. Their contact turned out to be Jim Murray of the St. Bernadine SVdP Conference in Forest Park. With the combination of help from the St. Linus and St. Bernadine Conferences as well as Elvia Rojas from the SVdP Chicago Central Office, a resting location for Charise had been found. Jim Murray had arranged for a permanent deacon at St. Bernardine Catholic Church on Harrison Street, who agreed to preside at the committal.

On July 6, 2022, 10 years later, Charise was finally laid to rest with a proper Christian burial with the help of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago-ADC. Thank you to all who worked to ensure a simple, but beautiful burial for Charise.

To read the article in it’s entirety, please click here.

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