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Catholic Cemeteries: November reminds us that all life is precious



By Kathy Fanger
Parish Outreach Coordinator

Perhaps you, like me, welcome the month of November. Beginning with the Feast of All Saints and ending with Thanksgiving, it is a time to praise and thank God for His generous gifts, especially the lives of the dead and the living. Even creation with its magnificent autumn colors reminds us of God’s cycle of life, death, and the promise of new life.

During this month, we especially remember our beloved family and friends living in heaven. We place flowers on their graves, and create special shadow boxes for Dia de Los Muertos and altars of remembrance in our homes, schools, and churches. Cherished photos and special items remind us of their lives and legacies.
Life is precious. Savor it now. Look with hope toward heaven.

Fr. Robert McKay, Sacred Heart Parish recalls, “One day I visited two elderly hospitalized patients. A 95 year old husband sat beside the bed of his 93 year old wife. ‘How long were you married?’ I asked him. ‘Not long enough, Father.’ In another room, an elderly wife sat beside her husband of 62 years. Recalling her wedding, she said, ‘If I were to do it differently, Father, I would not walk down the aisle, I would run!”

My sister, Eileen, could have remained home one recent Sunday afternoon to tackle chores. “I decided instead to join my husband at (10 year old) Jimmy’s soccer game. After all, what’s Jimmy going to remember – that we had a clean house or that I cheered him on at his games?”

Victor Rizzo, a senior visitor to our Gate of Heaven Cemetery office, beams when he declares, “I can’t wait to get here! I call it “The Stairway to Heaven!” Rizzo travels six days each week from Almaden Valley to visit his wife, Louise’s, grave. “I sing to her every day!” With his hand over his heart, he begins in a gentle lilt, “Good night, My Love…”

Dr. Robert Ang of St. Joseph of Cupertino Parish tells of his ‘near death’ experience. ‘I saw God face to face. I felt so much love! My mother appeared beside God with the most beautiful smile. I am not afraid of death. I long for it!”

At our Thanksgiving tables, let us share stories of those we love, our beloveds, living and dead. They are handpicked for us by God, to change our lives forever. Let us also gather around the table of the Lord, to give God praise and thanks and to receive Jesus himself! May we go forth to cherish the precious gift of life and bring healing, comfort and hope to others.

For more information, contact Kathy Fanger at 650-428-3730 x508 or kfanger@dsj.org, cemeteryinfo@dsj.org.

Consolation of Grief Before the Holidays
• Mon. Nov. 16 – 7pm-9 pm
St. Joseph of Cupertino Parish, 10110 N. DeAnza Blvd, Cupertino

• Wed. Nov. 18 – 10am-12pm
St. Mary Parish, Hofmann Center, 219 Bean Ave, Los Gatos

• Thurs. Dec. 3 – 7pm-9pm
St. Victor Parish – Library, 3108 Sierra Road, San Jose

Planning a Christian Funeral
• Sat. Nov. 21 – 10 am–12 pm
St. Christopher Parish, Walsh Hall, 2278 Booksin Ave., San Jose
Lima, Campagna, Alameda Mission Chapel Catholic Cemeteries