Love is a word said without hesitation when we are with someone that we hold deep in our heart.  It is a word, an emotion, a devotion, and a sacrifice.  The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and when I look to the Blessed Mother, what I see is love.  Mary so loved God that she accepted without question her motherhood and in her humanity, she touches each of us.  Her love for God is seen in the fire surrounding her Immaculate Heart and we see her love for Jesus in the sword which shows to each of us the pain of watching her beloved Son tortured and nailed to a cross.  

We often see Mary through the many artists’ depictions.  Whether it is the Assumption, the Pieta or the many statues placed so reverently in our Catholic churches, we see the Mother of God.  Just for a moment I ask each of you to see her as a mom, raising a son and hoping as parents do, that He find happiness in life.  This mom was destined to watch her Son travel a different path, one that ended in her at the foot of a cross.  Her sacrifice, and willingness to accept God’s plan is an example of pure love.    

Each of us suffers the loss of someone we love, but the beauty of love is that it does not die.  Love continues in our hearts and in our memories shared with the person who is no longer physically with us.  Most importantly, love keeps us connected until the time that we are reunited in paradise.  Our Blessed Mother’s love and her humanity connect us to her and through Jesus we are shown God’s love for us.  The path to paradise is clear and love is the key.   

God Bless,

Andrej Lah

President / CEO


The Blessed Virgin Mary: An Example of Courage and Strength

August 2021

August is often referred to as a time of transition. We enjoy the summer days of outdoor activities, relaxation, and a change in our routines. Vacations bring us an opportunity to refresh our outlook and to nurture our relationships with family and friends before students return to their learning. Sometimes we allow the change of pace to alter our routines a bit too much, especially with regards to our spiritual health. It takes courage and perseverance to keep our spiritual lives intact and vibrant, especially when recovering from the grief endured when we lose a loved one.

During August, in the Church, we are given many opportunities and examples to refresh and re-ignite our faith. The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The many feasts of saints and martyrs during August, combined with parish celebrations and festivals highlight the courage and perseverance of martyrs, the founders of religious organizations, popes, kings, and several Doctors of the Church. On August 8th , thousands of the faithful celebrated with food, music and the celebration of Mass together at The Fest. This year, The Fest theme “Take Courage” was highlighted by Bishop Malesic. For many who are suffering from the loss of a loved one, finding the courage to remain strong in faith is difficult. For others, a strong faith is the only thing that keeps them going. 

No one gives a better example of drawing on her faith when facing life’s uncertainties than Mary. Mary is the most perfect example of Christian perseverance and courage. The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated August 15th, is always a reminder to us of God’s promise of the Redemption. We pray to Mary as our advocate and celebrate her being crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth (August 22). The Memorare of St. Bernard (August 20) states that “No one who has fled to her protection is left unaided.” Praying the Rosary is another way to seek Mary’s intercession in our lives and to ask for the strength to be courageous. 

As we begin to transition from summer and move through August, let us take the necessary time to reflect on Mary’s life and the lives of the many spiritual leaders in our faith whose examples give us a roadmap on how to “Take Courage”.  I, along with all of us at the Catholic Cemeteries Association, wish you peace, perseverance, and courage as you travel your life’s journey, especially during times of loss. 

In peace,

Kathy McKiernan

Marketing and Communications Manager

Sharing a nice note we received about our staff at Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron…

Sharing a nice note we received about our staff at Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron…