Summer offers perfect time to visit
Today, we live in a noisy, mile-a-minute world. The idea of a cloistered community of contemplative nuns in the rural Arizona desert may be difficult for some of us to grasp at first. If you look a little closer, though, you’ll find a beautiful sanctuary where the commotion of daily life is replaced by a deliberate focus on Christ at the center of everything.
Would you be surprised to learn that for the first time in U.S. history, the vast majority of Americans don’t make adequate plans for the burial of their deceased loved ones?
When you take a closer look at Día de Los Muertos, though, you’ll find that this holiday that seems centered around death is actually a celebration of life.
When we lose a loved one, it never crosses our minds that the cemetery would not be able to accommodate our needs. We assume that burial space will be available whenever we require it. However, in some of the older corners of our country and around the world, some historic cemeteries have reached capacity.
When you’ve lost a loved one, memories can cause joy and pain in equal measure. During the holiday season, this can be especially true as we think back upon happy celebrations together while feeling the void the absence of someone dear leaves at this special time of year.
For those who have recently lost a loved one, this time of year it seems there is nowhere to hide from our grief. Though we may busy ourselves with the many activities of the holiday season, at one point or another, we’ll come face-to-face with a memory that makes our loss feel fresh again.
I never imagined the stress and difficulty a family could face when called upon to collectively arrange a proper Catholic funeral and burial. When I lost my father unexpectedly five years ago, I realized how complicated the process can be. My personal experience motivates me to educate the faithful to understand the tremendous gift you give yourself and your loved ones when you preplan your Catholic funeral and burial.
In 1878, five intrepid Benedictine sisters traveled to the plains of North Dakota to establish St. Mary’s Academy, which served 21 boarders and 80 students in three tightly packed classrooms their first year.
As Catholics, we sometimes enter the season of Lent with a sense of somberness and woe. After all, this is a time of fasting, prayer and giving alms as we reflect on the suffering and death of Christ.