Cooking for a
Joan Pierret uses one of her hobbies, cooking, to help minister to grieving parishioners at her church, St. Joseph Catholic Church.
She and Rita Roller are the co-chairwomen of St. Joseph’s program preparing meals for funerals.
“We usually settle on a cut of pork loin or we buy fried chicken a lot of times,” she said. “We ask if people can donate a dessert.”
The church often serves meals after funerals. Pierret said most Catholic services are at 10:30 or 11 a.m.
“When we were growing up, people would go back to their home after the funerals,” she said. “That would give families a chance to get together and talk.”
The ministry helps in other ways. Pierret said she was getting cookies together for a Rosary service for a recently deceased parishioner.
Pierret sees her cooking as a way to follow the Beatitudes, which were expressed by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount.
“He said, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,’” Pierret said.
She’s been involved with the ministry for as long as St. Joseph has had a congregation, about 20 years.
“And for at least 10 years before that at Sacred Heart,” she said.
Pierret considers herself a pretty good cook, “but not a fancy cook.”
She said she also prepares dishes for the church’s annual Quiche and Salad luncheon.
“I usually do the quiche Lorraine,” she said. “But I like to experiment with the salads.”
game with friends
The sunny living room of the Pierret home features all sorts of things Jean Pierret loves. One piece of furniture has delicate ceramic angels representing the months of the year. An antique desk is in one corner.
Two tables take up space near the back of the room. That’s where she and friends play bridge, a game Pierret has enjoyed for years.
It all started when she was working as a secretary at Iowa State University and she met a student, Jim Pierret.
“He got me involved with it,” she said. “I started playing bridge when he was in college.”
Bridge proved to be a way for her to make friends when the Pierret family moved to Muskogee in 1967.
“By 1969, I was playing in a group. We were all from St. Joseph and we always had eight people,” she said.
The bridge players all had kids in school, she said. “We’d play from 10:30 in the morning until it was time to pick our kids up. Two times a month, always on Tuesdays. We’d start talking about our kids at school and their illnesses. Then began talking about them as teenagers. Then about our grandkids. Now the conversation is about our aches and pains.”
Pierret said she enjoys bridge because it’s a challenge.
“Every hand is different,” she said. “It’s just a game you have to think about.”
Many of her bridge partners are old, she said.
“So many young people work all day. They want to be challenged when they get home. They want to be entertained,” she said.