I Cried All Day Yesterday

“I cried all day yesterday so that I could be strong for the family today.” If you should ever wonder what kind of people work at the Catholic Cemeteries Association, the quotation above says it all. We know that families need us to be strong when they are broken, to guide them with love and compassion. We give a piece of ourselves to that family as we help them through the most difficult of tragedies. Giving the family a piece of our heart is the only way we know how to do this ministry. I know that every single member of the Catholic Cemeteries Association staff willingly gives of themselves to serve when families need us most.

To all the families served by the Catholic Cemeteries Association staff, whether it is the CEO or the staff member preparing the final place of rest, know that we accept our responsibility with reverence and are devoted to the person loved by you and entrusted to our care.

 

– Andrej Lah, Director of the Catholic Cemeteries Association

 

Daylighting Project at Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron

The Catholic Cemeteries Association considers it a sacred duty and obligation to maintain, enhance, and otherwise improve your Catholic cemeteries. The CCA uses funds generated from the sale of our products and services to fund these improvement projects and to benefit the families who have entrusted the earthly remains of their loved ones to us. Lately, Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron has been in process of daylighting its streams. The daylighting of streams allows nature to become an integral part of the cemetery. Nature allows us to reflect and remember that we are surrounded by God’s creation. Further, water allowed to flow through the cemetery is a reminder of our baptism and of our belief in life everlasting. Check out some interesting pictures of the project below!

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Preplanning: What it is, Why it’s important, and how you can get started!

No one enjoys thinking about their own death. In fact, many people go to great lengths to avoid the subject entirely, choosing to ignore the matter of death altogether. While this may ease some worry in the short-term, in the long-term avoiding the topic of death, especially your own, can be unhealthy and lead to added stress, emotional turmoil, and financial struggles. As Catholics we realize that death is only the transition into a world that is much greater than we can even imagine. Instead of ignoring death or trying to outsmart it, embracing your mortality and planning ahead will actually bring you more peace of mind. The Catholic Cemeteries Association is here to provide our Catholic community with the knowledge and resources they need to preplan their final arrangements. Keep reading to learn more about preplanning: what it is, why it’s important, and how you can get started.

 

 What is it?

Preplanning is the process of planning your burial arrangements in advance. This process normally includes selecting your place of burial, what type of burial you prefer (traditional or cremation), memorials and monuments, and basic principles and guidelines regarding your burial to leave your loved ones following your death. Preplanning is all done with the help of a knowledgeable and compassionate Family Service Representative, who will assist you through each stage of the process.

 

Why is it important?

Preplanning is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones. Losing someone close to you is a traumatic experience, leaving family members distraught, confused, and unbelievably stressed. By planning your burial arrangements in advance, you save your loved ones the stress of making quick decisions regarding your final resting place. It is also a good way to save your family from the financial stress of burying a loved one. Another major advantage to preplanning is that it assures your final wishes will be carried out according to your own specific preferences. By starting early, you have time to research all of your options and come to the decision that best suits you and your specific situation.

How can you get started? 

Begin preplanning today by calling 855-85-2PLAN, or by visiting https://www.clecem.org/Information/BeginPrePlanning.aspx. One of our Family Service Representatives will be waiting for your call!

What you should know about grave settling

School supplies are on sale, the air is getting cooler, and grocery stores are already selling Halloween candy. That’s right—Autumn is fast approaching! With any change in the seasons, we here at the Catholic Cemeteries Association are placed with the very important task of maintaining our graves, both old and new. Some common questions we hear involve how long it takes for a grave to settle, what the process entails, and the procedure surrounding new burials. You might be surprised by some of the answers! Keep reading to learn what you should know about grave settling.

1. What is grave settling?

Grave settling is the process of the earth (soil, clay, etc.) surrounding the burial readjusting.

2. How long does is take a grave to settle?

The duration of time it takes for a grave to settle varies greatly on the season, type of burial, and other external factors. However, on average its takes about a year for a grave to fully settle.

3. What is the process of leveling a grave?

Directly after the burial, the vault is surrounded by filler. While many cemeteries use only soil, we at the Catholic Cemeteries Association use fill sand to the top of the vault and then soil from the vault to the top of the grave. Sand is much more durable against water and therefore speeds and assists in the settling process. As the grave settles throughout the year, additional soil is added.

4. When will grass be planted?

Grass will be planted on a grave before the grave has settled completely. Typically, the first seed application will occur within a few months of the burial, depending on the season. As the grave continues to settle throughout the year, more soil and seed are applied until the grave is level and the grass has grown in fully. Please keep in mind that grass seed cannot be planted during summer and winter months as the seeds will not germinate. We understand that leveling and seeding can cause distress to a family and we ask for your patience during the process.

5. When can a memorial or monument be placed?

This answer varies depending on the individual situation. Many memorials can be set soon after the burial, weather permitting. The type of memorial (flush or above ground) will also affect how quickly it can be placed on a grave. It is also important to consider the production time of the memorial and if a poured cement foundation is required. Generally, memorials are not able to be set during late fall through early spring.

 

Fun times at the FEST 2017

The Catholic Cemeteries Association was very excited to return to the FEST this year! Having sponsored the event for over 15 years, the Catholic Cemeteries Association is known for our delicious snow cones, so much so that our tent was attracting visitors as early as 9:30am! One of our CCA  volunteers snapped a quick picture before the events began saying: “the calm before the storm.” Boy was he right!

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FEST 1
“The calm before the storm”

 

 

As the day progressed, the line for CCA snow cones grew longer and longer. Luckily for us, we had an amazing team comprised of our Catholic Cemeteries Association employees and their families. With everyone’s help, we were able to keep the line moving quickly while having a great time!

 

 

FEST 4
Look at that line! 

 

 

 

FEST 3
Our snow cone machine hard at work! 

 

After being open for nearly 5 hours, we were able to pass out over 3,000 snow cones, which served as a nice cool down for all of those people sitting out in the sun. It was an amazing way to spend a Sunday afternoon- complete with faith-filled music, a holy atmosphere, and great people. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, as your Catholic Cemeteries Association, we are very happy to be an active member of the Catholic faith community. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Do you have a favorite FEST memory? Let us know in the comments!

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski

What you need to know about disposing of an American flag

 

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As our country celebrates the great patriotic holidays of the summer months, such as Memorial Day and Independence Day, it is the great honor of the Cleveland Catholic Cemeteries to facilitate the placement of American flags on the graves of those who have served this country. Hundreds of flags are displayed each holiday, and it is truly inspiring to see just how many dedicated American citizens served their country. However, many people don’t realize what the process is for disposing of these American flags displayed at our cemeteries:

 

The flags are collected by our groundskeepers and placed inside well protected tarps or otherwise acceptable and protected containers. They are then stored until proper disposal can be arranged. At no point does any flag face any sort of damage or disrespect. Once all flags are collected and ready for disposal, they are shipped to one of our cemetery locations to be burned with dignity, which is the most commonly accepted and encouraged method of flag disposal. The ashes are then buried in keeping with proper public teaching on the disposal of the American flag.

 

Catholic Cemeteries Association considers the disposal of American flags as an honor and a privilege, and we are humbled that we are able to perform this service with the very upmost standards

 

Post written by Katie Karpinski

Holy Cross Cemetery, Brook Park, after heavy rain last week.

Holy Cross Cemetery, Brook Park, after heavy rain last week.

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…

Winter scene at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brook Park.

Winter scene at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brook Park.

Fr. McCann celebrates Cemetery Sunday Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron

Fr. McCann celebrates Cemetery Sunday Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron.