What Matters Most to Us

We’ve reached the time of year when our management team at the Catholic Cemeteries Association must make decisions regarding our annual budget. This entails identifying everything we need to support our 19 cemeteries, 60+ buildings, 35+ miles of road, and over 160 employees.

Needless to say, this is a lot to consider, and it is my job as Director to pay attention to the numbers to make sure we not only have enough funds to cover our current operations, but to ensure we generate enough income to care for the past and prepare for the future. As a self-sustaining entity, this income is generated directly through the sale of places of interment and products such as granite memorials and vaults.

Now, you may be wondering why I’m choosing to talk about the financial side of our ministry. I want you to know that, despite our financial responsibilities, we at the CCA never lose sight of what is most important: serving you.

We know that every sale is the direct result of the loss of a loved one. This is one of the reasons why I take time to walk our cemeteries, to remember those who were so treasured and loved here on earth.

While sales allow us to carry on our ministry, it is the connection we feel with each family that matters most. We at the CCA take our calling to serve families seriously and personally. We never lose sight of the trust placed in us to care for your dearly departed loved ones, and please know that we will continue to work hard every day in order to keep your trust in the years to come.

God bless,

Andrej Lah

August 2020

Keeping The Faith

To say our world is going through a turbulent time is an understatement. The confusion, anger, and fear that many of us face each day may seem incredibly overwhelming, and mourning the loss of a loved one only adds to this stress. It may be hard to find the motivation to remain hopeful.

However, I’ve found much comfort in the simple phrase: keep the faith.

While this suffering may be new to many of us, we must remember that our world is no stranger to suffering. Whether we look to the Jews of Egypt, those who lived during the time of Jesus Christ, those taken from their homes and sold into slavery, among many other groups – we can see how faith gave them the strength and the perseverance to continue on.

Personally, I look to my Slovenian ancestry for strength. I look to my parents and grandparents who were forced out of their homes due to their religious and political beliefs. They left everything they knew behind, only moving forward with the few items they could carry with them. However, despite their newfound poverty, despite moving as refugees from camp to camp, they found a way to celebrate Mass each Sunday. It was their faith in God’s mercy and love that kept them alive, and it was faith that led them to a better life.

We all face our own unique form of suffering on this earth. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with our struggles. However, we must remain faithful. We must remember that while we our limited to seeing the here and now, God is eternal. He has led the world through suffering time and time again, and He will always provide us with an everlasting hope.

God bless,

Andrej Lah

June 2020

Cherishing Our Loved Ones

Today I attended the burial of a woman I’ve known for years. As solemn as it was to bear witness to her burial, I found myself smiling. I thought back to the moments we shared, and the true privilege it was to know her. The whole event reminded me that every person placed in our life is sent by God. Whether the relationship was good or bad, long or short – every encounter we have is intentional and serves a specific purpose in our path to growing closer to God.

Now more than ever, our world is aware of our mortality. While we cannot control what happens next, we can control our outlook, our actions, and our priorities moving forward. We are all facing degrees of separation right now, whether you’ve recently lost a loved one or are currently social distancing. It is easy to give in to feelings of loss or loneliness. However, as valid as those feelings are, try to balance them with feelings of happiness and peace. Think of the wonderful time you shared with your loved one. Thank God for that time together. That time is a true gift – a reason to smile.

Above all, we must remember that our God calls us to live by faith, not fear. I pray that, despite our circumstances, we may all find a way to connect with those we love and cherish the relationships God has placed in our lives.

God bless,

Andrej Lah

May 2020

Finding Hope This Easter Season

It goes without saying that these are difficult times –the sacrifices we’ve had to make over the past several weeks are unlike any other we’ve experienced. For those who have recently lost a loved one, this time is filled with even more confusion and despair. It may feel like there is no end in sight.

As overwhelming as these feelings may be, as Catholics we have a powerful source of hope. In many ways, it’s appropriate that this time of isolation and anxiety would overlap with the Easter season. If we think about how Jesus felt in the garden on Holy Thursday – realizing that He would need to handle this impossible task alone, begging the Father to take this responsibility away from Him, we come to understand that these feelings, though valid, are temporary.

The confusion, isolation, and pain that Jesus felt were followed by His ultimate triumph. The Easter season is a reminder to all of us that, while we may never understand God’s plan, His way always leads to greater life, greater glory, and greater hope.

While no one can predict where God’s path may lead, we know that we will get through this. We must trust in God, and remember that no matter how bad things may appear, Christ will always shine through to light our way. May God bless you and your families during this Easter season.


Andrej Lah

April 2020

Messages from Heaven

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my office at home when a cardinal started to tap on the window. I watched, as it would tap the window, fly to a nearby tree, and then back to the window. It was almost as if it were trying to get in the house. Having lived in the same home for almost 20 years, I couldn’t remember seeing a bird behave this way. I thought it was strange and simply carried on with my work.

The next day, my wife called me to say a cardinal was tapping on the window. She reminded me that cardinals represent a loved one you’ve lost. She said to me it has to be “Ata” and I immediately thought of my father, who I lost this past December. I was overwhelmed with emotion, as I understood that my father had sent me a message to let me know he was okay.

During my time as Director, I have encountered families with very similar stories: parents who had a butterfly land on their daughter’s casket and she loved butterflies; a mother who noticed a hummingbird tapping on her kitchen window soon after the death of her son; and a man who, having recently lost his brother, had butterflies flying around him and his bride during their wedding ceremony.

Some may say that these are just coincidences. However, with God, there are no coincidences. It is only with open hearts that we can see and hear the messages that God and our loved ones send us each day. These messages are a reminder of the hope we have of reuniting with them in Heaven.
As we approach the resurrection of our Lord next month, we should look joyfully upon our earthly journey. We must remember that death is a renewing step that brings us toward greater communion with Christ and our departed loved ones.

Until then, let us all help each other as we walk this earthly journey together.

God bless,

Andrej Lah

March 2020