By Michael Espinoza, Manager, Cemetery Operations and Development
Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Homes
At Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Homes, we take a proactive approach to cemetery development so we can continue to serve the burial needs of Catholic families for generations to come.
In this spirit, we are excited to celebrate the blessing of the new Los Cristeros burial section at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery and Funeral Home in Avondale. This section was named to commemorate Los Cristeros, the Catholics who were martyred during the Cristero War in Mexico in the 1920s. On May 21 — the feast day of Los Cristeros — the recently constructed walkways, burial fields and statuary will be blessed.
Design and construction of the Los Cristeros Garden, which will eventually include up to 8,800 burial spaces, began in 2015. Visitors to this unique 11-acre burial section follow a meandering walkway that leads them through an arch into a replica of a Mexican adobe village.
The garden surrounds the bronze statues of “Joselito,” one of the Cristero martyrs, and Cristo Rey. “Joselito” is a four-foot bronze feature resting on top of a four-foot granite base. The one-of-a-kind Cristo Rey statue is a replica of the original statue that was destroyed in Guanajuato, Mexico, in an air strike in the 1920s. The statue will be one of the highest points in the cemetery, standing 12 feet tall and prominently placed on Dakota mahogany base facing the entrance to Los Cristeros. Both statues were cast in Tempe, Arizona, by Bollinger Atelier through a lost wax process, which allows for a tremendous amount of detail in the pieces.
Over time, we will add more statues of Los Cristeros martyrs to the garden, along with plaques that will provide more information about this important part of our Catholic history. Eventually, my hope is that families will make a pilgrimage to the Los Cristeros Garden so they can learn more about their faith and the sacrifices the Los Cristeros martyrs made in the name of our Lord.
I’m grateful to everyone who made this beautiful new burial section possible and for the blessings it will provide our families for decades to come.
Contact Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Homes at (602) 267-3962 or at dopccfh.org.