Over 4,300 Catholic parishes in the United States have responsibility for close to 6,500 smaller Catholic cemeteries. Most don’t belong and benefit from cemetery news, development tips, and advertisements by numerous vendors who offer products and services that make management, operations, development and maintenance much easier. This newsletter is the first American attempt to close that communications gap. It intends to establish communication with pastors, parish and cemetery managers/sextons, finance councils, cemetery boards and hundreds, if not thousands, of parish cemetery volunteers. It is intended for pastoral ministers, pastoral associates as well as those who teach either in Catholic schools or religious education programs.
The Catholic cemetery apostolate has radically changed since the close of the Second Vatican Council. A new mission statement reoriented the purpose of the Catholic cemetery away from discipline to ministerial service under the umbrella of paraclesis (comfort), catechesis (teaching Catholics what the church believes about death and life after death), and evangelization (teaching these same beliefs to those who are not members of the Catholic church). This newsletter is intended to break open that Mission Statement into the wealth of implications that may not have been available to all the groups listed above.
The Newsletter also promotes The Toolbox for Parish Cemeteries, a collection of six manuals that provide the latest, most comprehensive information on administration, operation, maintenance, sales, and financial aspects of Catholic parish cemeteries.
To access the Newsletter online we are asking for some profile information. We do this:
- To notify you when a new issue of the Newsletter is available.
- To have a better understanding of our various audiences by the roles performed in the parish cemetery.
- To ascertain what (arch)dioceses and areas of the United States we are reaching.
- To begin to develop national statistics concerning the size and scope of this apostolate.
All of this is done to develop an awareness among (arch)bishops of the size and scope of the parish cemetery apostolate in the United States.