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In the life of every Christian person, there comes that time when we are faced with the death of someone we love. At that moment we rely upon our faith in Jesus and His promise of resurrection to all who believe. At that same time we are surrounded by individuals and a community of believers wanting to express comfort and consolation. And in the midst of many people and in the tumult of many preparations we turn to the Church. As the final gesture of leave-taking, we gather in a Catholic cemetery and there we entrust the remains of the one we loved to the care of others. Those “others” are known as Catholic cemeterians who perform a ministry of service to all the faithful.

After the funeral director completes his role in the drama of death, the Church commences an obligation that endures through the centuries. Her beautiful commemoration, starting in church with the Mass, continues in the cemetery, where the priest recites the final liturgical prayers in the interment chapel or at the grave.

The cemetery staff completes the sacred task of burial or entombment, then assumes the care of the burial place, maintaining it in dignity through all the years of the future.

After the first sharp impact of grief when someone dear is laid to rest, subsequent visits to the cemetery remind us that death is really sad only for those who live without God.

The Catholic cemetery is a silent but serene symbol of the deep, immutable conviction that a truly Catholic life is a passport to heaven.

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