Throughout the month of November – the month of all souls – Catholics across Minnesota continue to take the challenge to honor the dead. We hope the following stories will give you some great ideas of how you too can honor the lives of those who've now passed.
Bishop Robert Barron Reconsecrates Calvary Cemetary
"Friends, as many of you are aware, on Halloween night Calvary Cemetery in Rochester was vandalized. Those profane marks have now been removed, and we wanted to make sure the cemetery was spiritually cleansed as well. I performed the Rite for Reconciling a Profaned Cemetery. As a part of this rite, we prayed the Litany of the Saints, read Psalm 50, sprinkled holy water across cemetery grounds and all places where the deceased were profaned, and concluded in prayer. This vandalism is an affront to not only common decency but to those families who, as a work of mercy, placed the remains of their loved ones in a place where prayers could be offered and their memory could be cherished. Most Merciful Father, deign to purify and to reconcile this resting place of your pilgrims, who look for a haven in your heavenly kingdom." - Excerpted from YouTube description. Thanks to Peter Martin, director of communications for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester for sharing this.
Embryo Remains Burial - Sacred Heart Guardians and Shelter
On November 1st, the Feast of All Saints, Laura Elm the executive director of Sacred Heart Guardians and Shelter, held an embryo remains burial at Epiphany Catholic Church in Coon Rapids. To date, Sacred Heart Guardians and Shelter has provided burial for 941 embryonic children who have died in invitro fertilization labs or storage facilities. The mission of Sacred Heart Guardians and Shelter is to facilitate Christian burial for the embryonic human beings who die in IVF labs, and who would otherwise be disposed of as medical waste.
Laura states on her website, that this act of burying the dead, even the youngest human beings, "gives witnesses to the reality that human embryos are human beings, and therefore fully human persons, each of whose life 'is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end.'" (CCC 2258)
You can learn much more about this important mission and how you can get involved by visiting: sacredheartguardians.org
Bringing them Home - The Catholic Cemeteries
"November is a wonderful time to remember those who have gone home to God," said Joan Gecik, executive director of The Catholic Cemeteries. The mission of The Catholic Cemeteries is to bury the dead, fulfilling one of the corporal works of mercy.
In an email correspondence, Joan told our team about a program called Bringing Them Home. "We have invited anyone in the Twin Cities to bring cremated remains that they may have at home to us and for $200 we will inter them in a permanent place and memorialize them. We can only do this because of our Compassionate Assistance Fund."
Joan explains that the fund was begun to assist people with little or no ability to pay for burial costs in our cemeteries. "The Compassionate Assistance fund supplements families who are caught off guard by the many financial demands that come with the death of a loved one, as well as those who have no family to bury them." T
You can learn more about the Compassionate Assistance fund and other ways to support the mission of The Catholic Cemeteries by visiting: www.catholic-cemeteries.org/ways-to-donate.
Here are a few more of the ways that people are honoring their loved ones:
- “Visited my paternal grandparents' grave on a visit to Detroit and prayed for the repose of their souls. Took some time to clear away the brush and grass that had covered it up. ” - Jason Adkins
- "Making our annual visit to parish cemeteries in which our friends are buried" - Deb Kaczmarek
- "A young man I know was recently killed in Mexico. He was a child at the children's home where I was a missionary 10 years ago. My fellow missionaries and I offered a rosary and a time of remembrance for him. We are also gathering photos and writing letters to his younger brother and sister." - Anonymous
- "I'm going on a "cemetery visit" to two or three different cemeteries with a small group of friends. We will visit the graves of loved ones and pray at each grave." - Fr. Michael Skluzacek