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New Year, New Resolutions: Planning Your Legacy


By Kathy Fanger

My dear Marianist friend, Father Steve Tutas, S.M., recently celebrated his 91st birthday. On the morning of his birthday, he emailed his many friends with his daily scripture reflections, including this added message: A Birthday is a Day for Giving Thanks! I continue living one day at a time…without rushing, in thanksgiving and hope…
What a wonderful philosophy of life! I especially took to heart his words, ‘without rushing’. Isn’t life so much more pleasant when we choose to intentionally move through our days, allowing restful, focused time for what’s most important?

End-of-life planning can be just that – intentional, without rushing, giving it the thought and planning it requires and deserves. After all, we dedicate many hours of preparation for other major events of our lives: births, baptisms, First Communions, birthdays, Quinceañeras, graduations, weddings and anniversaries! Doesn’t planning for our funeral deserve the same?

Having one’s final resting place and desire for Catholic funeral rites documented and in place is a gift of peace of mind to oneself and one’s family. You are essentially making a faith statement to your loved ones: “Jesus promised he has prepared a place for me and will come to take me home to be with him. I believe so much in eternal life that I am going to prepare my funeral, even pay for it. It is my gift to you. I will write my wishes for my funeral services, perhaps even the scripture readings and songs I have come to love. I want you to gather together and give thanks to God for my life, for our love, and for all God’s blessings.” What a legacy you leave for your family!

Jesus, too, prepared for his death. He carefully planned the details of the Last Supper, arranging for the upper room, the washing of the feet of his disciples, the Seder meal, and his chosen parting words to his disciples. It was at this special, final meal that He instituted the Eucharist – the memorial in which he was to be forever remembered. “Do this in memory of Me.” He also promised, “I am with you always.” This was his legacy.

Catholic Cemeteries is here to assist you. Pre-planning takes less time than you may think and it’s free. We listen to your wishes, discuss burial options and give you a tour of our beautiful, peaceful grounds. We offer zero-percent interest finance plans with only 10 percent down payment on the property. We even have savings opportunities. Begin the new year by adopting Father Steve Tutas’ philosophy: Live one day at a time…without rushing…in thanksgiving for your life and God’s blessings, and in hope for a place at Jesus’ banquet table in heaven.

Call us today for a free appointment and to receive our Legacy Planning Guide – a comprehensive step-by-step booklet to document important end-of-life information and your wishes. Call (650) 428-3730 or visit www.ccdsj.org.

Consolation of Grief Through Music and Prayer
January 19, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Saint Elizabeth Parish – Parish Ministry Center, Saint Dominic & Saint Monica Rooms, 750 Sequoia Dr., Milpitas.
Presenter: Father Christopher Bennett
Experience a time of prayer and reflection with a variety of music. You will be able to get in touch with the many feelings that accompany bereavement. Free.

End-of-Life Decisions A Catholic Perspective
February 10, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Saint Francis of Assisi Parish – Fireside Room, 5111 San Felipe Rd., San Jose.
Presenter: Deacon Ray Gans
Choices at end-of-life present unique challenges, particularly within a complex and technologically advanced society. Physical death is perceived within modern society as the ultimate human tragedy. This presentation will explore end-of-life choices within the context of faith in Jesus and the moral tradition of the Church. Free.

For more information on these free workshops or to host a workshop in your parish, contact Kathy Fanger at (650) 428-3730 or cemeteryinfo@dsj.org.