About The Office of Catholic Cemeteries, Diocese of Rockford
What does Catholic Cemeteries offer?Sometimes people will ask us that question. When they do, we struggle to find the right words to offer as a response. Words that will describe not just the products we offer, the graves that we care for, the burial of the deceased, or the overall grounds that we try to improve, because there is so much more in our offering.
We strive to be present to each person who walks through our door, no matter what they are seeking. Some will come to bury their loved one, deeply immersed in grief, loneliness and other emotions that have consumed their minds and their bodies. Young couples will come for consolation after suffering a miscarriage and burying the baby that was yet to be born. Some will come after the burial of their loved one, to pick out a memorial granite stone that will best resemble the person they have lost. Some will come and purchase a vase and flowers, so their loved one’s grave will be decorated, and memories will surface and often shared with us. Others will come and request that we fix, repair, or take better notice of the gravesite to which they have entrusted to us. Others will come seeking information about loved ones who have been gone for many years. Still others will participate in our flower program, where through the mail they are able to choose a special bouquet or Christmas wreath to be placed by us on their loved one’s grave. To all of you we say thank you for placing your faith in us to care for you, and your family. Mass is offered monthly in the Calvary Chapel for all who died in the past month, and also Mass is offered every Memorial Day in four of our Cemeteries. All of this work is done in His Name.
We consider this a ministry, not a just a job. We strive to keep focused on the mission of ours, which I share with you:
“We, the People of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford, are called by the Father through baptism to be the new people of God. United in faith and relying on the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, we have access to the redeeming love of Jesus, the Christ. This love allows us the care and compassion to alleviate the suffering of those in our faith community who face difficulties at the time of a death.
As Catholic Cemetery Workers in the Diocese of Rockford, we are called to share in His mission to proclaim the Reign of God in Word, Sacrament, and Service. This call is particularly unique in the service we offer to our Catholic Communities: to bury their dead with dignity and grace, to care for the families at their time of grief, and to beautify the places where their loved ones’ physical remains are buried.
The Church, who as Mother, has borne the Christian sacramentally in her womb during his earthly pilgrimage, accompanies him at his journey’s end, in order to surrender him ‘into the Father’s hands.’ She offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of his grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory. This offering is fully celebrated in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.” CCC 1683
This is our mission statement, words that we try to put into action each day. Sometimes we succeed; often we fail. Our failures are the times we ask your forgiveness and patience as we correct our mistakes. However, that does not stop us from continuing to minister to you and to all our families.
The products and services we offer to you are varied. We offer preneed burial arrangements, including the vault. We offer a variety of graves, some with flat, flush markers, and others where monuments are permitted. We have mausoleum crypts in all of our cemeteries, and niches for cremated remains. We bury all products of conception under 20 weeks at no cost. We sell granite markers and monuments. All foundation work and setting of markers and monuments is done by our team. We have an extensive flower program, including a yearly program package, which offers different flower arrangements placed in the vase on the grave and a wreath for Christmas. This package is offered each year in our spring newsletter. Silk flowers are available for your purchase every day in our offices.
All of us at Catholic Cemeteries thank you for your continued support of the cemeteries. We offer our prayers daily for you, your families, and your loved ones. We ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers as well.
“Eternity is born in time, and every time someone dies whom we have loved dearly, Eternity can break into our mortal existence a little bit more.” – Henri Nouwen