Funeral Ministry

The Funeral Ministry Team was formed to assist the Parish Priest in meeting with the family members of the deceased to discuss and prepare the Funeral Rites. Our Funeral Ministry members are empathetic people who are sensitive to the grief a family experiences after the loss of a family member. Meeting with a compassionate team to work through the details of the Funeral Mass or Service can be a comforting experience for the family during a difficult time. Funeral Ministry members might also conduct funeral services in the absence of the priest when approved.

(l-r) Claudette, Barbara, Sandy, Fr Greg, Greg and Lorraine (absent: Pat)

Our Members

  • Fr Greg Barker
  • Greg Byrne 

Greg has been a member of the Forster Tuncurry Church community since 1976 and involved in the Funeral Ministry Team since 2001. He has seven adult children and eight grandchildren. His 37 year marriage to Lauranne ended in 2015 when Lauranne passed away after a ten year struggle with breast cancer. Due to his own life experiences, Greg is aware of the sometimes painful journey through grief to peace and acceptance and is prepared to accompany others through their own challenging times.

  • Claudette Cheetham
Claudette has been part of the parish for three and a half years. Claudette is also a reader and a Special Minister of communion. She has experienced grief when she lost her first husband of 17yrs in 1996 leaving her with 2 young sons to care for and also both of her parents at a very young age. She was parish secretary in 2 parishes in Sydney for 12yrs and one of her duties was preparing funerals of loved ones and supporting families through their most difficult times. As part of being a parish secretary, she was also a sacramental coordinator and prepared families for baptism. She was also the parish secretary here at Forster Tuncurry Parish for 14mths before she retired at the beginning of 2019 to be with her family. She knows too well how difficult it is when you lose a loved one and she wants to be there there to help those grieving.
  • Barbara Dolahenty

Barbara was born at Temora, NSW. She enjoys living in Forster. She is married with 3 sons, 1 daughter and 10 grand-children. Barbara worked in Aged Care for 6 years and then in an Operating Theater for 27 years. She also has a long history of volunteer work with 10 years Scripture Teaching, 10 years Lifeline Telephone Counseling, 11 years with the St Vincent de Paul Conference and is currently a reader at Mass and Communion Minister at the hospital as well as being a valued member of the Funeral Ministry Team.

  • Sandy Ross

Sandy has lived in Forster/Tuncurry for 4 years. She has been a member of the Funeral Ministry Team for about 3 years. She has helped families through the ministry with preparing the funeral booklets, giving support and being there for the family. Sandy has experienced her own grief through the loss of her baby girl and her parents.

  • Lorraine Thomas

After coming to Forster for many years to holiday Lorraine and her husband moved here to live 8 years ago. Soon after she joined Pink Ladies at Forster hospital. About 3 years ago she became a member of the Funeral Ministry. In the last couple of years she has lost a sister and brother and feels this experience helps her to be aware of how people may be feeling at a similar time.

  • Pat Tough

If you are interested in joining our Funeral Ministry or would like more information send us a message via the Contact Us page.