March 23, 2020 COVID-19 Letter to Families

Dear CCA Families,

The Stay at Home order issued by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine this past Sunday has raised many questions regarding which businesses are deemed essential to continue operating amidst the COVID-19 crisis. I want to assure you that the Catholic Cemeteries Association will remain open to serve you and your family during this incredibly difficult time.

Whether you are making at-need arrangements, planning for the future, or seeking bereavement resources, please know that we will find a way to continue our operations, while also assuring the safety of our employees and you, our families.

We have adjusted many of our policies and procedures to fit health guidance set by the CDC and the State of Ohio, and will continue to monitor their guidance and adjust as necessary.

Again, all of our services will still be available to you, though some may be adjusted for added safety measures. You can view our current list of safety updates here.

Please call your cemetery office at 216-641-7575 should you require any service, or have any questions.

I know this is an uncertain time, and uncertainty can be difficult to handle. However, my hope, and the hope of everyone here at the CCA, is that we can be a comforting and helpful resource during this time. I would also encourage you to take this time of social distancing to reconnect with our Heavenly Father, who provides endless comfort and peace.

As Pslam 46:1 states:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

May we all trust in God as we navigate through this challenging time.

God bless,

Andrej Lah

March 18, 2020 – COVID-19 Letter to Families

The Catholic Cemeteries Association has been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in our surrounding communities. We are following guidelines set by the CDC, the Diocese of Cleveland, and the State of Ohio on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still fulfilling our mission to serve families before, during, and after the death of a loved one.

It is our top priority to keep our employees and the families we serve safe during these stressful times.

With that in mind, here are some updates:

  • At this time, all cemetery offices will continue their normal office hours.
  • All cemeteries are open for visitation.
  • All services will be available with some adjustments.
    • In regard to funeral masses specifically, the Diocese of Cleveland has released the following statement: If at all possible we recommended that you schedule a memorial Mass at a time when the current restrictions are lifted. The Rite of Committal may be celebrated at the cemetery with immediate family members only, keeping in mind the call for social distancing. If a funeral Mass is celebrated, the attendees are limited to immediate family members only. We encourage the family to make note in the published obituary that the funeral Mass and burial are private family only events.  Please keep in mind the maximum number of persons in attendance according to government directives.
  • Cemetery staff has been instructed to expand current sanitation efforts by frequently disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, practicing good handwashing, and enacting other efforts as outlined by the CDC.

Please call your cemetery office at 216-641-7575 if you have further questions.

We will keep you updated as new information and guidelines are released from the CDC, the Diocese of Cleveland, and the State of Ohio. Let us pray that these new efforts may work in preventing the further spread of COVID-19, and that all those affected by this turbulent time may find peace and comfort by turning to our Lord, Jesus Christ.

God bless,

Andrej Lah

A Valentine’s Day Message

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, much of the world is focused on chocolates, Valentine’s cards, and spending time with their significant other. However, there are also those for whom Valentine’s Day is a reminder of the absence of their loved one. Instead of celebrating love, they are reminded of their broken heart. I see this pain in the eyes of the widows and widowers that I’ve come to know.

Yet, in the midst of this suffering, I believe there is hope to be found.
Upon losing a loved one, it may feel as if their absence is permanent. As followers of Christ, however, we have hope that this separation is only temporary. Having hope doesn’t make the loss any less painful, but hope can make your burden a bit lighter to bear. We must accept that God calls us all home on His time, not ours. We will never know the reasoning behind God’s timing. All we can do is place our trust and hope in the Lord, and reflect on the love He calls us all to embody throughout our time here on earth.

As hard as it may be, I encourage you to celebrate love this Valentine’s Day. Remember the love you shared with your dearly departed. Reflect on the love that you still have for them. Tell the people in your life how much they mean to you.

In a world where everything seems to move too quickly, we can find comfort in knowing love is eternal.

God bless,
Andrej Lah

February 2020

Honoring Our Loved Ones This New Year

It’s hard to believe that we have already found ourselves in the year 2020. It seems that the rush of the holiday season has started to settle and the world has gone back to its typical routines. However, we at the CCA understand that the New Year may be difficult for many people, as it is a reminder that another year is starting without our dearly departed loved ones. While we carry on with our daily lives, our loved ones are no longer with us to celebrate life’s most precious moments. We may feel like the passing of time pulls us further and further away from our loved ones, but the opposite is true.

The emotional connection we make with our loved ones is something that cannot be broken by death. It is something that lives on and evolves, even after their passing. Each year is a chance for us to strengthen our emotional relationship with our loved ones, both living and deceased.

We must remember that God exists outside of time. Our departed loved ones are present in a world far beyond our comprehension. While entering the New Year may seem daunting to some of us here on earth, we can find comfort in knowing our loved ones exist free of the limits of time and are joyfully awaiting our eventual reunion with them in God’s kingdom.

May God grace you and your family with abundant blessings this New Year.

God bless,
Andrej Lah 

January 2020

Remembering Our Loved Ones This Holiday Season

As I write these words, I understand that everyone reading this newsletter has experienced some type of loss. Whether it’s the loss of a parent, spouse, sibling, child, or friend we all enter the holiday season knowing that our loved one will no longer be here to celebrate with us. For those suffering a recent loss, the pain can be unbearable. For those who have gone many holidays without their loved one, the pain may be dulled a bit, but still remains each year. It’s important that we acknowledge that the pain of losing a loved one may never fully go away.

But there is hope.

While we may feel the ache of loss during the holiday season, we must also remember that we are called to experience great joy with the arrival of God’s gift to earth: Jesus Christ. Without Christ and His sacrifice, we would not have the chance to be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven one day. This promise of eternal life is something that should uplift our hearts and guide us out of deep despair.

If you find yourself struggling this holiday season, remember that God calls us all to find peace and happiness. Finding glimpses of joy and thanksgiving does not mean you miss your loved one any less. Your loved one would want you to be happy. They would want to see a smile on your face. Therefore, try to find some joy this holiday season. Doing so will bring you closer to both God and your dearly departed loved ones. 

God bless,

Andrej Lah – Director, Catholic Cemeteries Association

December 2019