Saint Michael the Archangel: Defender of the Church

Saint Michael the Archangel is the subject of many legends, prayers, modern movies, and television programs. While not technically a saint, Michael is the leader of all angels in God’s heavenly army. Saint Michael is typically depicted as a defender and has earned the patronage of those in the Armed Forces. Often, Saint Michael is called upon during dangerous situations and, in many ways, he is the guardian angel of the Catholic Church itself.

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Saint Michael has been known to perform three important tasks:

  1. Fight against Satan
  2. Fight for and defend Christians and the Catholic Church
  3. Be with us during our time of death and guide us into the after-life.

Saint Michael’s third role of guiding the souls of the dead has earned him the nickname of “The Angel of Death,” as referenced during Passover in the Old Testament. Saint Michael has few direct mentions in the Bible, with his name appearing only four times: twice in Daniel, once in the Epistle of Saint Jude as guarding the tomb of Moses, and once in Revelation as he and his angels battle a dragon. In terms of documented human encounters, Saint Michael has been reported to be seen during battles and times of war across the world. Churches and shrines named in his honor can be found in nearly every country, as he still exists as one of the most well-known and familiar Saints to this day.

Undoubtedly, Saint Michael is many things to many people. He can be called upon for any variety of situations. Here at the Catholic Cemeteries, his function as deliverer of souls bears special meaning. Death is a frightening concept for many people, which is completely understandable. There is an innate fear of the unknown, and even those with the strongest faith may find themselves in fear of “what comes next.” However—there is much hope to be found in that God sends His greatest warrior to personally guide us through this transition. No one is alone when they pass away. They are surrounded and protected by an angel who combats the Devil himself.

Take a moment to pray to Saint Michael that he may protect you today, and every day hereafter—even in death.

Post written by Katie Karpinski
Edited by Joe Marques

Renewal Coming to Calvary Cleveland’s Front Entrance

Over the next several months, the front entrance at Calvary Cemetery in Cleveland will experience some changes to its Miles Avenue entrance.  Recent tree removals are part of a larger project regarding the rebuilding of the front wall.  The Catholic Cemeteries Association’s (CCA) arborist along with the CCA’s mason determined that removing the trees surrounding the front wall was necessary because of the condition of the trees and the safety of the workers performing the renovation work.

We understand that this decision may be disheartening to those who appreciated the tall pine and maple trees as they entered the cemetery.  With the beauty of the cemetery a priority, it is never easy to remove a tree. However, the removal of these trees was absolutely essential to the safety of our cemetery staff and visitors.

The CCA has been treating these trees for years in an effort to keep them alive and healthy. Many of the trees were extremely old and succumbing to diplodia tip blight and internal rot. Recently the trees became too large to care for properly, resulting in unsafe conditions for crews working under and around the diseased trees. New projects aside, many of the standing trees would have needed to be removed over the next few years due to these natural ailments.

While there were some healthy trees remaining along the side of the entrance, these were also removed as they were leaning at an unsafe angle over the wall and entrance. Unfortunately, these trees would have been damaged during construction.

The entrance to Calvary may look bare right now, but rest assured that this is only temporary. Soon our crews will be working on rebuilding and renovating the front wall and when it is completed, new trees will be planted at the front entrance. God willing, the new trees planted will bring the same joy and comfort that their predecessors did to those visiting the cemetery.

I encourage you, should you have additional questions or concerns regarding new cemetery projects or renovations, to send us a message at

God bless,

Andrej Lah

Director of the Catholic Cemeteries Association


Saint Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene is, perhaps, one of the most well-known biblical figures. As a close follower of Christ, Mary Magdalene’s story is one all of us can relate to in some regard. Perhaps her recognition can be attributed to her relatability—as someone who found themselves deep in the life of sin yet found hope and salvation after encountering Jesus Christ. After leading a life filled with sin, Mary comes in contact with Christ and is forever changed. Keep reading to learn more about this beloved saint and her lasting legacy.


While no specific information is known about Mary before her time with Christ, it’s been speculated by many historians that she was from the town of Magdala—a patronage clearly evidenced in her last name, Magdalene. Magdala was a small village near the Sea of Galilee, known for its fish markets. Her first name, Mary, was a common Jewish name at the time. Because of this commonality, there are many figures in the Bible with the first name Mary, including the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. For this reason, Mary Magdalene is always referred to by her first and last name.

Appearing in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, Mary Magdalene is first introduced as someone “from whom seven demons had gone out.” In other words, Mary Magdalene was someone fully corrupted by the powers of temptation and sin.

“Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.”

— Luke 8:1–3

However, what happened after her exorcisms is what we know and recognize today. As it states in the scripture passage above, Mary (along with other women with similar backgrounds) turned away from their former lives and walked with Christ along His missionary journey. Another interesting takeaway from this passage is that it mentions the charitable works of Mary Magdalene. As the passage concludes, “who provided for them out of their resources” it’s implied that Mary Magdalene was a woman from a wealthy family, someone who was able to provide for Christ and His followers as they traveled.

Most of us are familiar with the story of Mary’s life after meeting Jesus. She was there with Him throughout His ministry. She was there with Him when He died. And she was there when He resurrected from the dead. From the moment she encountered Christ, Mary Magdalene refused to leave His side, she abandoned her dependence on sin and offered up her material possessions in an effort to help Christ spread the word of God.

While Saint Mary Magdalene may have lived thousands of years ago, her life is still one we can all learn from. Her trust and reliance in Christ is an example to us all of how God can soften hardened hearts and give hope to those deep in sin or doubt. During the Easter season and beyond let us all remember that we are called to follow Christ just as Mary Magdalene did. Do not be ashamed of your previous mistakes or behaviors. Instead, forge a new path and follow Christ in everything you do.

Post written by Katie Karpinski
Post edited by Joe Marques

John Kahl Jr: Servant Leadership and the Founding of Duck Tape

John J. “Jack” Kahl Jr. was not only a visionary leader in business, but also a devout Catholic. Jack was born and raised on the West Side of Cleveland and attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood and furthered his education at John Carroll University in University Heights. Jack passed away at the age of 78 in 2018, and is buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Avon, Ohio (Section 3, Lot 419, Grave #2).


During his senior year at John Carroll, Jack was looking for a career path. This is when Jack met Melvin Anderson, whom he began to work for at Manco Inc. in 1963. After working there for 8 years, Jack bought the business. Nearly thirty years later, he sold the business to the Henkel Group. Jack used his business knowledge and skills to grow Manco, Inc. into a national corporation. Manco Inc. is famously known for Duck Tape Brand Duct Tape.

Throughout Jack’s 37 years as the CEO of Manco, Inc. he built the business through his servant leadership and fostering a caring culture. His book, “Leading from the Heart: Choosing to be a Servant Leader” is a true testament to his passion for his faith. Jack was named one of “America’s Most Admired CEOs” by Industry Week magazine in 1993 and Inc. Magazine recognized him as one of three CEOs in America to “benchmark leadership practices.” Much of Jack’s leadership manners were attributed to his strong faith.

To say that Jack Kahl lived a full life would be an understatement. From when he first began at Manco to when he retired, Jack did it all. While he pursued and advanced his career, he was able to keep his faith close to his heart. Today, many think that you have to separate the two – but Jack was a prime example of someone who used his faith and learnings at work. To his credit, he did a great job of utilizing both his business knowledge and strong faith to become successful.

Post written by Joe Marques

He Knows: Turning to God for Understanding and Peace

The pain we experience on this earth is entirely unique. While situations such as the loss of a loved one affect everyone, each person experiences grief and pain in different ways. It’s common to feel as if no one knows how much pain you’re in, or the confusion and anger you may feel. You may imagine that you are completely alone in this world, with no one to turn to for understanding and peace. While these thoughts may be overwhelming, remember that God always knows. He knows every thought, every desire, and every feeling that flows through your mind. There isn’t a thing that goes unnoticed by God. We may not always feel His strong presence, but God is always working to make sure our lives go according to plan.

March 2019 Bereavement

God reaffirms His love and knowledge of us time and time again in scripture…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

“And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” – Romans 8:27-28

“Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” –Psalm 139:4-5

This holy message is also depicted in Jeremy Camp’s song: “He Knows.”

Camp’s moving song proves that everyone feels bogged down and isolated at times. It’s also a powerful reminder that God is not only constantly with us, but is also constantly aware of how we’re feeling and what we need in a given moment. Take a few minutes to listen to the song. Listen or read along to the lyrics. Think about the trials and struggles you are experiencing and remember that God knows you – and He is the only one that can provide you true peace and comfort.


Post written by Katie Karpinski