My faith has always been an important part of my life, and today I’m blessed to have my faith and my profession intersect in my role as funeral director at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery and Funeral Home.

I didn’t always set out to do this work. In fact, I came into it quite by accident. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, I went to visit my brother in Los Angeles, and he invited me to observe his work in a local funeral home. I reluctantly accepted this invitation, not knowing what to expect. What I found surprised me, though. Right in front of my eyes, my brother was helping families endure one of the most difficult times in their lives. He was truly making a difference for them. That experience lit a fire within me, and I knew I wanted to do the same.

After completing an apprenticeship program and earning my college degree in California, I began my work in funeral homes in California, Washington and Arizona. For years, I helped families make final arrangements while comforting them during their time of great sorrow.

My faith in God always played an important part in my work, but I didn’t realize how significant it was until I came to Holy Cross. I saw how our faith-based approach to funeral services helps families deal with loss and begin to work through their grief knowing that God is by their side through it all.

I consider my work at Holy Cross to be a ministry, and my faith guides my way as I help our families with their planning needs. Here, I feel like I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing in life, and I am gaining so much in return.

This year, I suffered the loss of a child. The support of my own family, along with the faith of our Holy Cross families and my fellow staff members here, has truly been a gift to me during such a difficult time.

My personal loss has given me insight into what our families are going through, and it helps me to serve them with even greater empathy and care. Our families probably don’t realize it, but when they walk through our front door they are helping me as much as I am helping them by sharing their faith and humanity.

Many blessings during this season of Thanksgiving.

Bill Gabriel
Funeral Director
Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery and Funeral Home