Home Community Catholic Cemeteries: Take Care of Those You Love by Taking Care of...

Catholic Cemeteries: Take Care of Those You Love by Taking Care of What Will Be


By Laura Schemmel, Outreach

Here we are again. Summer has gone; kids are back in school. Life moves forward, ready or not. Many had an opportunity to travel and see other places of the world, visit family and friends, and maybe build new relationships or rebuild some old ones. The days are growing shorter. Time seems to move faster. Settling back into a more structured routine, we look at our to-do list and check off all that we accomplished or plan for items yet undone.

Where is completing your burial plan on that list? Have you already done it? Are you afraid to do it, that it might bring death upon you sooner? Is it difficult to talk about? If you have checked this off your list, congratulations! You have completed something that unfortunately very few people do. The National Funeral Directors Association findings reveal that 62.5 percent of consumers felt it was very important to communicate their funeral plans and wishes to family members prior to their own death, yet only 21.4 percent had done so. Two of the most common factors involved in this imbalance is that preplanning is not a priority and prepaying is too costly.

We are not immortal. Therefore, we will all die someday. As Christians, we live our lives here on earth in hopes for that place that Jesus has prepared for us.

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:2,3

Planning for your death and funeral is probably not at the forefront of your thoughts. It can be one of the most uncomfortable, yet crucial topics that is never too early to start thinking about. Pre-planning enables you to make choices on many components: whether you will be buried or cremated, whether you desire Catholic Funeral Rites (a Vigil, Mass or Memorial Service, and Graveside Services), your choices of music, scripture and who you would like to participate, what clothing and jewelry you’d like to wear, and if you would like a reception. If you do not have a next of kin to oversee your funeral, you can decide whom you do trust and put them legally in charge.

Preplanning removes so many burdens from your loved ones during their time of grieving. They are faced with exhausting, urgent decisions and finances to be agreed upon. With plans in place, your loved ones can then concentrate on the funeral service and consoling one another. Pre-planning allows you to make your wishes known, offering peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

Catholic Cemeteries can walk with you through this process. We have several workshops that will assist you in completing your Advance Directive, Estate Plans, Planning your Catholic Funeral and making End-of Life decisions from a Catholic perspective. We have counselors to assist you with securing a final resting place where your loved ones, church family and other faith-filled can visit and pray for you. We do have programs that provide for 0% interest payments for up to 5 years.

It is never too early to take care of those you love by taking care of what will be. Contact us at (833) 677-9644 or ccoutreach@dsj.org to inquire about our next event or contact a counselor.

Parish Bereavement Ministers’ Training FALL 2019
Bridging the Gap with Hispanic Communities*
Queen of Apostles – Geary Hall 4911 Moorpark Ave., San José
Six Thursdays evenings: Sept. 19, 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24; make-up session: Nov. 7
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
Facilitators: Candee Lucas, Kathy Fanger – Outreach Team
Cost: $100. Per person (fee returned upon completion of all 6 sessions)
This in-depth training and enrichment series is for parish staff, clergy and volunteers. Focus includes the grief process, effective communication, and models of parish consolation programs. Two or more individuals from your parish are encouraged to attend. *Course materials provided in English and Spanish. RSVP by Sept. 14.

Death Café
Monthly Drop-in Group
A safe space to talk about death, dying, what it means.
September 18 from 7 – 9 p.m. (3rd Wednesday each month)
890 Benton St., Santa Clara
Facilitator: Candee Lucas, M.A. Pastoral Ministries
Space provided by Santa Clara University Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries. For more information: www.deathcafe.com/deathcafe. Endorsed by Catholic Cemeteries.

SOLACE – Soul + Grief
Monthly Drop-in Grief Support Group
Grounded in spirituality and faith
September 25 from 7 – 9 p.m. (4th Wednesday each month)
O’Connor Hospital Chapel – Main 2105 Forest Ave., San José – Parking in the back lot
Facilitator: Candee Lucas, M.A. Pastoral Ministries
Sponsored by Catholic Cemeteries and O’Connor Hospital.