By Kathy Fanger
As the Jubilee Year of Mercy has come to a close, Catholic Cemeteries continues to practice the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in our ministry to Catholics, Christians and their families.
In this issue we spotlight Gate of Heaven Cemetery located in the foothills of Los Altos. It is one of three cemeteries owned and operated by the Diocese of San Jose. While Calvary Cemetery is an older, traditional cemetery with upright monuments, Gate of Heaven is more typical of a modern memorial park with rolling hills, chapel, mausoleum, and a columbarium between two beautiful ponds, all overlooking the western foothills and valley. Its sacred, peaceful and exquisite grounds point to its name: Gate of Heaven. Monsignor J. Patrick Browne has declared our cemeteries to be “the best kept secret in the diocese.”
Gate of Heaven’s daily visitors find comfort among other believers who look to the Lord with hope: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” John 11:26. They find strength in sharing stories of their loved ones, often becoming friends. Many attend our Memorial Mass on the second Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. in All Saints Chapel. Our Afternoon of Remembrance Prayer Service and reception each December gathers the faithful to pray for and remember loved ones buried during the previous 18 months.
Our sacred grounds are named after Our Blessed Mother, angels and saints. In our prominent Veterans’ Section, the Military Plaza proudly displays the American flag surrounded by military branch monuments. Funerals include military honors, taps and the presentation of the American flag to the family by the color guard. On Veterans Day and Memorial Day, thousands of flags wave on veterans’ burial sites. Over 800 people gather on our expansive lawn for the Veterans Tribute and Memorial Day Masses.
Current and future development include two outdoor niche areas: St. Robert and St. Francis of Assisi, new cremation gardens, a second mausoleum, a St. Mary’s section, and additional Veterans niches.
Consider making a free appointment. Our pre-need counselors listen to your wishes, discuss burial options, and provide a tour. Properties may be put on hold while you and your family discuss your decision. You may opt to pay in full or choose a zero-interest finance plan with savings opportunities. A Catholic Funeral Plan™ is available. Our counselors may meet at your home or parish, if requested.
What a beautiful gift of peace of mind when your funeral plans, property, and wishes for Catholic funeral services are in place and documented. This legacy and gift to your loved ones removes the burden of decisions, financial demands, and the urgency of choosing your final resting place. We are here to assist you.
Call (650) 428-3730 or visit our web site at www.ccdsj.org. Attend a free pre-planning workshop in your area or host one at your parish by contacting Kathy Fanger (650) 428-3730 x508.