DECEMBER 2016Celebrating Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen’s Contribution to the Catholic Cemetery Apostolate was written in celebration of his 95th birthday and the many contributions he has made. The committee he created was to study the theological implications of Catholic cemeteris in this new era (post Vatican II) of the Catholic Church.
JULY 2013 Cemetery Care Funds – Contemporary Dilemmas was written to recommend that all Catholic cemetery care funds be invested in legally established trusts; that a paradigm shift takes place so that earnings from care funds are used annually for cemetery maintenance; and that all other cemetery reserves be segregated for specific purposes.
MARCH 2013 Shrine or Memorialcaptures the constant dilemma of the cemetery director or superintendent when reviewing applications to erect a monument or memorial, i.e. is this a memorial or a shrine? The article makes the case that the Catholic cemetery is the place where memorialization is intended to manifest belief in the communion of saints and awaken faith in the promise of one day participating in eternal life.
JUNE 2012 The Next Great Challenge The appearance of the ‘celebrant’ through funeral homes and cemeteries is an opportunity to galvanize concerns about how secularization and cremation have impacted the use of the Order of Christian Funerals and the manner in which human remains are handled once cremated.
NOVEMBER 2011The New Evangelization On the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council an opportunity is presented to examine the paradigm shift of Catholic cemeteries away from a disciplinary tool of the church to the mission of paraclesis, catechesis and evangelization. Catholic cemeterians are challenged to create and implement evangelizing tools.
SEPTEMBER 2005 Life and Death Lessons from Pope John Paul II The article is written to focus on the contrast between courage and fear, using the life/death of Pope John Paul II to illustrate both what Catholics are supposed to believe about life, death, life after death, and how this is contrasted with common underpinning fears of death and judgment.
SEPTEMBER 2005The Intrinsic Value of the Catholic Cemetery – Getting the Word Out! This is a companion piece to Life and Death Lessons from Pope John Paul II which is intended to offer concrete suggestions on how to implement a paradigm shift from discipline to faith-building through the use of the Corporal Works of Mercy.
JANUARY 2005The Eucharist & Catholic Cemeteries – United in Memory and Thanksgiving On October 7, 2004, Pope John Paul II proclaimed the Year of the Eucharist. The article unpacks Eucharistic theology to connect reconciliation, memory and thanksgiving (the elements of the celebration of the Eucharist) as the paradigm for prayer for the dead, i.e. coming to the cemetery to evoke memory and express thanksgiving to God for the gift of the intertwining of the life of the survivor with the life of the deceased, a practice most often requiring acknowledgment of failings on both parts, hence always the need to both offer and request forgiveness.
NOVEMBER 2004Seeing the Light – Thoughts on the Death of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross “Those who learn to know death, rather than fear it, become our teachers about life.” My friend Elizabeth built her psychiatric practice on this foundation and the occasion of her death was an opportunity to surface questions on how the Catholic cemetery can participate in the bereavement process, from grief to healing.
MARCH 2002Please Remember in Your Prayers… George Walsh, Jr., 1928-2002 The article was written to acknowledge the deep faith and commitment to the Catholic church and her cemeteries by George. George is presented as an untiring mentor who both knew what constituted community and how community is built by one person’s interaction with others when their lives intersect.
JUNE 1998 The Catholic Cemetery/Funeral Home Question – ObservationsBuilding on the recent experience of celebrating the life and death of his own father, the author surfaces the growth of the combination funeral home/cemetery and asks what the potential impact this phenomenon will have on the Order of Christian Funerals and how Catholic cemetery directors might assume responsibility for promoting the full use of the OCF in the parishes supporting the cemeteries.
MARCH 1993Cemeteries Ministering to the Bereaved (Reprint of a convention address at the 1979 Milwaukee Convention first published February 1980) “Grief is the response to any loss or separation, real or imagined, actual or symbolic, of any emotionally significant person, object or situation which is perceived to be of an irredeemable or permanent nature.” Based on his work and friendship with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, the author and presenter provides the foundation upon which has been built involvement of Catholic cemeteries in both educating staff and supporting the journey of family/friends through bereavement to healing.
DECEMBER 1989 Focus: Associated Catholic Cemeteries of Seattle The article was written as a prototype for directors of other Catholic cemetery programs throughout North America as a way to describe the unique workings of individual programs and perhaps share ideas that could be modified/implemented to augment other successes or create new initiatives.
AUGUST 1988Seattle Catholic Cemeteries Issues Mission Statement The first cemetery mission statement in the post-Vatican II Catholic church was formulated by a working group of clergy and the cemetery director and promulgated by Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen. Rooted in the concepts of paraclesis (the ministry of comfort), catechesis and evangelization, the statement describes the history, audience, contemporary approaches and anticipated future of Catholic cemeteries in a new and different church. The statement was shared by Archbishop Hunthausen with all United States diocesan (arch)bishops shortly after its official promulgation.
JULY 1988 Electronically Promoting The Catholic Cemetery Tradition Prior to the explosion of the web and web-based services, the author was able to uncover Real to Reel, a Catholic television subscription service that allowed local issues/programs to be documented and shared/aired among the subscribing (arch)dioceses. Three Catholic cemetery segments that were filmed in the Archdiocese of Seattle were made available to members of the Catholic Cemetery Conference.
JANUARY 1987 Wreaths Placed to HonorThis article is a reprint from Northwest Progress, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Seattle. Within it is described a new program to remember and give thanks for the lives and generous gifting of the many religious women who served the Archdiocese of Seattle and have been buried in a variety of Catholic cemeteries within the Archdiocese.
NOVEMBER 1986 Keynote Address Fulfilling Our Contemporary Mission as Catholic Cemeteries/Cemeterians The address was developed to frame the present and future of Catholic cemeteries within four perspectives, i.e. changes in society/church in past 20 years; impact of these changes on Catholic cemeteries; organizational administration as a frame of reference for responding to change; further questions occasioned by the use of a mission statement for both Catholic cemeteries and the Catholic Cemetery Conference.
JULY 1986Decoration of Priests’ Graves “It is incumbent upon us to remember these men who can easily be forgotten by the people they served. We are their family, and we have an obligation to mourn them.” This is the foundation for the continuing practice of using Holy Thursday morning to remember and give thanks (on the feast of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist) for those who have served the Archdiocese and its parishes for so many years with unfettered devotion.
JUNE 1984The Catholic Cemeterian …. Grief Counselor? Grief Minister? Other?In a world where CHANGE is the operative dynamic, how are those who have responsibility for the management and operations of Catholic cemeteries to respond beyond being order takers to those who come to the cemetery office to facilitate interment arrangements? Is there more that can be done under the umbrella of ministerial service? How can those responsible for Catholic cemeteries facilitate the required changes that are surfaced as possible supports for the grieving family?
MAY 1982The Parish Cemetery – Light of Faith Restlessness is the underpinning dynamic for the Board of Directors of Mount Kelly Cemetery, Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn, Michigan. It is that restlessness that caused the director to search for a long term approach to plot the future for a small parish cemetery and seek professional help in developing a comprehensive master plan for the facility.
AUGUST 1981The Parish Cemetery: A Teaching Tool The challenge of finding volunteers to work in various aspects of the parish cemetery is surfaced within the context of the requirement of Sacred Heart Parish’s requirement that each student preparing for Confirmation satisfy a Christian Service requirement. Seven students signed up for Mount Kelly Cemetery and had not only experiences in grounds maintenance and office records, but plenty of conversations about life, death, life after death, Resurrection of Jesus, the promise of eternal life to those who believe.
OCTOBER 1980The Parish Cemetery Director – Who or What? The parish cemetery administrator is a professional individual, faith-living person, lay or religious, who has at his/her fingertips expertise in the following areas: administration, sales, landscape, finance, theology, and compassion. The parish cemetery administrator is an individual who holds a sacred trust, recognizing the degree of vulnerability of those he/she serves, and seeks to find ways and means to cause Resurrection Faith to come alive and be sustained in self and those who choose to use the services of the parish cemetery.
SEPTEMBER 1979 The Parish Cemetery – Lost Tradition or New Challenge? Using the evolving history of Mount Kelly, a Catholic cemetery of Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn, Michigan as a platform, the case is made for volunteers to come together in the parish cemetery to work and pray, to laugh and cry, and find each other willing to share in these experiences so as to also find the Risen Christ truly present and working.
JULY 1978 A Cemetery Newsletter The need for organized and regular communication through print media is documented; this particular newsletter is described in both appearance and content and information about different audiences targeted in distribution is also included. A newsletter has become the vehicle to keep lot holders as well as all other parishioners and cemetery neighbors in touch with cemetery management, operations, and sales; each issue of the newsletter is also used to remember those who have been interred in the previous six months.