By Nicole Lecheler and Kathy Fanger
“For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt.19:14) “We are all his children.” Our last article chronicling Maureen and Dave’s journey living in faith and hope of the resurrection reminds us of the gift we have been given as Easter people – a place in heaven to call our own, that God has prepared for us.
Maureen and Dave’s story continues. Knowing the truth in their faith, and wanting to be near their baby, Maureen and Dave selected their final resting place and encouraged their family members to do so as well. Evangelizing the Catholic faith and the legacy of their own family provided peace of mind to their parents. Unaware of the Parish’s teaching on cremation, Maureen’s mother just assumed her ashes would be scattered. Maureen shared the Parish’s teaching with her – that we honor the reverence of the full body, therefore cremated remains should never be scattered or divided. After learning the importance of being in sacred ground and being reminded that cemeteries are a tangible reminder of God’s merciful love and our loved one’s legacy on earth and in heaven, Maureen’s mother chose to have her cremated remains buried with the family at Gate of Heaven.
The true calling of peace and hope in the resurrection came when Maureen’s brother died. Maureen’s brother, Steve, was estranged from the family. He struggled with homelessness and had died alone on the streets.
Being called by compassion, and God’s merciful forgiveness, Maureen acted in faith to honor her brother’s life and legacy, despite any conflict and hurt that occurred in their earthly relationship. Steve’s life, being no more or no less precious and sacred, was a holy gift from God and deserved to be honored and remembered. By providing a burial space for Steve at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Maureen, Dave and Catholic Cemeteries recognize the importance of mercy in the dignity of every person.
“God sends each person into this world with a special message to deliver, with a special song to sing for others, with a special act of love to bestow. No one else can speak your message, or sing you song, or offer your act of love. And when the final history of this world is written, your message, your song, and your love will be recorded gratefully forever.” Father John Powell, SJ.
For more information regarding Catholic Cemeteries please visit catholiccemeteriesdsj.org.