Ordinary Time

June, the beginning of summer, vacations, graduations, weddings, and other events that bring family and friends together.  As we celebrate all these events, it seems almost contradictory that this month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time.  There is nothing ordinary about Ordinary Time when it comes to our Catholic faith.   

Ordinary Time is when we celebrate Christ’s life and death and June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  In this time of the liturgical year the Church is donned in the color green as a symbol of hope of the resurrection.  We celebrate Christ’s life and death and through the image of the Sacred Heart, His love for each of us.  These symbols of new life and love inform us of Christ’s conquering death giving to each of us the gift of salvation and the hope of eternal life with Him in paradise.  

Many find it difficult to celebrate the events that are a part of the beginning of each summer.  Loss makes any celebration difficult.  In this month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, find comfort in knowing that God’s love for each of us is boundless.  Seek refuge in His pierced heart of Christ as it is in His suffering that He understands your pain and it is in His sacrifice that we find the gift of paradise.

God Bless   

Andrej N. Lah

President / CEO

New Beginnings…Faith, Hope and Remembrance

Blog written: June 15, 2021

June 2021 will be remembered as a special time in our lives. Over a year has passed since our world was besieged by the Covid-19 Global Pandemic and the resulting lockdown and isolation that ensued.

June is also a time of new beginnings and renewed life. Spring has sprung and flowers are in bloom. The world and our communities are re-opening. Returning to a sense of normalcy with the opening of restaurants, venues and most importantly, a return to our Church’s in-person liturgical celebrations, brings a renewed sense of hope. June brings me, full circle, back to my Catholic roots. I am honored to be the newly appointed Marketing and Communications Manager at Catholic Cemeteries Association.

I am excited to begin my new marketing role at Catholic Cemeteries Association. Pulling into the entrance of the corporate offices gave me a sense of coming full circle. My grandparents, Frank and Mildred Gallagher, along with other relatives, are buried here, at Calvary Cemetery. Up until two years ago, I had only been here as a young girl when my grandparents were buried. In the summer of 2019, I was at a burial of my friend’s father. I knew my grandparents were buried here and I had just discovered the CCA app for locating burial plots at any of the 19 CCA cemeteries. Unbelievable as it might seem, I put in their names and their burial location was on the same hillside as the burial site of my friend’s father. Using the GPS feature, I found their headstones and felt so happy to be able to say a prayer at their graveside. Little did I know that two years later, I would be working here, looking out on the grounds of Calvary where they are resting. 

June is also a significant month for a few other reasons. On June 11th and throughout the month, we focus on The Sacred Heart of Jesus. One of my first social media posts for CCA included the painting that I have had in our home throughout our marriage and raising our family. This is significant to me personally, because my grandfather was a leader and active member of Cleveland’s Sacred Heart of Jesus organization. His devotion to The Sacred Heart of Jesus influenced his 10 children and eventually, their children (all 50+ cousins of mine) to keep our faith alive and to “live” our faith. Displaying the Picture of The Sacred Heart of Jesus in our homes, throughout my life, to this day, is a daily reminder to try to dedicate our day to His work and serving others. 

This Sunday, June 20th, we celebrate Father’s Day. It is a bittersweet time for those of us who have lost our own fathers. My father passed away on June 24th, 18 years ago, this year. He passed two years after, to the day, as my maternal grandmother. This past weekend, I traveled to Pennsylvania and visited the gravesite of my maternal grandparents, John and Julia Sheredy. It was on my grandfather’s birthday, June 12th.  You can see that June has been a time of remembrance for me and it has also brought me full circle, as I start this new role at CCA. To remember our loved ones is bittersweet, yes. It is also hopeful. The legacy of faith that our loved ones have shared is a gift. In living their faith, they have instilled within us, the hope that keeping the love of Christ alive within us brings. The beautiful part of our faith is the hope of eternal life to come.  I am grateful for our fathers and for the time in June where we are called to remember their legacy of hope and faith. I am grateful for coming full circle and look forward to serving here at Catholic Cemeteries Association.

In peace,

Kathleen Gallagher McKiernan, BEE, MBA

Marketing and Communications Manager

Catholic Cemeteries Association

“Why Have You Forsaken Me?”

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
We know that these were the words of our Lord and Savior as He approached the end of His human existence to enter the Divine. These words can be confusing when we look at our caring and loving God and wonder why He allowed His only son to die in such excruciating pain. This is also a question many of us ask of God when a tragedy occurs in our lives. When death takes someone we love we ask God, “why?”. Because He is all knowing and all powerful, it is natural for us to place the blame on God during the hardest seasons of our lives. However, our faith tells us that God does not wish us pain in any form (including the loss of a loved one). Rather, it is through Him that we can find hope and comfort in the midst of our pain. 

As we reflect on this Easter season, we know that God did not forsake His beloved Son. Rather, He allowed Jesus to experience humanity and its suffering so that Jesus could emerge as the Divine Savior of Humanity – the ultimate example of how suffering can lead to some type of greater hope and purpose. 

God is a loving Father who we can go to with all of our struggles. He does not cause the tragedies that befall us, but He does allow life on Earth to move on a natural course. He does not forsake us, but saves us. In days when we can’t help but ask God “why”, remember the hope that Jesus Christ provides. His story did not end on Good Friday, but on Easter Sunday with His Joyous resurrection. It is through God and through Jesus Christ that we can find hope. 

May God bless you and your families during this Easter season, a season of hope. 

God bless,
Andrej Lah

April 2021

Preparing Our Souls for the Lord

A few Sundays ago, our Pastor gave an amazing homily on the meaning of Lent. I never knew that Lent actually means “Spring” and as such, we are called to use these 40 days as a form of “spring cleaning for the soul”. As I continued to reflect on this message, I found it important to share with all of you. After losing a loved one, it’s common for all our prayers, thoughts, and intentions to be for those who we’ve lost. However, Lent is a special season for us to focus on ourselves and on our relationship with the Lord.


This time in the Liturgical year encourages us to look inward. Upon self-reflection and practicing some spiritual self-care, we can face our imperfections – the things we try to hide most from God and from the world. Through prayer, we can uncover places of anger, hurt, confusion, or sadness. We can begin to heal wounds left from life’s most challenging moments. Through all of this, we can find Christ loving us unconditionally.


Life on this Earth is a challenging journey, but we are blessed to have the Church as a guide. By seeking out the sacraments, spending time in prayer, and finding Christ in all we do, we better prepare ourselves for the life that awaits us in paradise.


During these remaining days of Lent, I encourage you to spend some alone time with the Lord. Focus on yourself and how you can better prepare your soul for the Resurrection that we will joyfully celebrate in just a few short weeks.

God bless,

Andrej Lah

Walking in the Footsteps of Christ

A room left with memories intact, a home that now reminds us of what we have lost, our phones with so many photographs and videos that bring tears and smiles.  As we begin our Lenten journey, many are confronted by the challenges of the loss of someone we loved.  How do we focus on celebrating Easter when our loss can be so consuming?  The Lenten season is an opportunity to reflect; marked as a time of fasting and of self-denial, it is a time to remember our connection to Christ and His journey toward our Resurrection.  We enter the desert with Him to reaffirm our relationship with God. 

The devastating loss of someone we love is like entering your own personal desert – one you may not want to journey through.  It is in these moments of despair that we must remember that we are walking in the footsteps of Christ.  His journey toward the Cross guides us through the darkness toward the promise fulfilled on that first Easter morning.

God sent His only son to become fully human – to know, and feel, and experience humanity in all its forms, including great suffering. However, Jesus was not sent to suffer in vain, but to help us grow closer to God through our suffering. When you reflect on Christ’s life starting with His 40 days in the desert through the time He was nailed to the cross, you’ll find that His journey was filled with great pain. He could have questioned God’s will, but He instead accepted it fully, knowing that God’s plan is perfect. One need only look to the empty tomb as a sign of this truth.  We must trust in the Lord just as Jesus did. While we will endure much suffering in this world, we cannot let that overshadow what we believe; that our souls will be welcomed into paradise.

During this Lenten season, I encourage you to bask in God’s love. Bring your suffering to Him. Understand that the suffering you experience on this earth is preparing you for the hope of eternal life with God in paradise. Death is not the end.

God bless,

Andrej Lah

February 2021