Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted blessed and dedicated Blessed John Paul II Mausoleum Sept. 14 at Holy Redeemer Cemetery. The ceremony marked the opening of the recently completed mausoleum, an expansion that adds 460 new crypts to the cemetery.
The yearlong project completes the first part of a new phase of construction of mausoleums on the site. Future expansion plans also include a new columbarium with glass niches and a chapel, and cremation gardens, which will feature fountains.
With crypt space in the existing Good Shepherd Mausoleum sold out, a large percentage of the new crypt spaces sold quickly before completion. The three new buildings designed by Carrier Mausoleum complement the existing mausoleum buildings in color and design. They are designed to blend into the surrounding desert environment, including the neighboring desert preserve. Gary Brown, president of the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Cemeteries, stated that Holy Redeemer Cemetery has received national recognition for its water-efficient desert landscaping designs.
“Catholic cemeteries are a vital part of our faith, like a Catholic church and other sacred spaces,” Brown said. “Having the bishop come bless the site is important. It maintains a respectful level which is essential to our ability to continue our ministry.”
Catholic cemeteries serve as a depository for bodies of the faithful who are awaiting resurrection. Bishop Olmsted’s homily focused on the hope of resurrection of the body.
“Catholicism is a religion of the person, and that person is Jesus Christ, who died and was buried in a tomb, but who rose from that tomb,” he said. “Because of this, we know that this world is not the end. The phrase ‘In Christ,’ that is our hope. That is where our future lies.”
Bishop Olmsted also stressed the dignity of the human body.
“We don’t discard the body and it must be cared for, for it will be reconstituted in a glorious way…beyond what we can imagine,” he said.
For these reasons, Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries state that they “maintain the grounds and facilities with the respect due any religious shrine.”
Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries is the only non-profit mortuary operating in the State of Arizona.
Holy Redeemer Cemetery
23015 N. Cave Creek Road, Phoenix (480) 513-3243