Catholic Cemeteries throughout the United States celebrate Catholic Cemetery Sunday on the first Sunday of November each year. Following the All Souls Day Masses where over 1,700 families are invited to each cemetery every year, this day is set aside for families to come and experience the beauty of our Archdiocesan cemeteries.
Our Lady of Mercy and Our Lady Queen of Heaven are the only two Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese. They are sacred enclosures for the repose of the souls of our faithfully departed and the only place in the Archdiocese where Mass may be celebrated outside of sacred parish grounds.
Our Lady of Mercy
This year is especially memorable as we celebrated the blessing of the new stained glass window dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation in the Consolation Chapel on the grounds of Our Lady of Mercy. Father Israel Mago, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, assisted by Seminarian Ryan Saunders and Deacon Joe Naranjo, cemetery chaplain, blessed the window in a beautiful ceremony attended by the Family Service staff of the cemetery and many family members who were on the grounds to visit their loved ones. The window was created by Pickel Studios in Vero Beach.
Following the blessing, the staff and those families in attendance prayed the rosary for all those buried this past year.
Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Cemetery Sunday at Our Lady Queen of Heaven began with a very special Requiem Mass for the families of the St. Paul Chung Ha Sang Korean Mission. This has become an annual tradition for their faith community. All families who visited were able to meet with Family Service Counselors to tour the Chapel Mausoleum and the new Resurrection Mausoleum complex where the first bronze statue in the cemetery, Christ Ascending to the Father, was installed. The expression of Christ in this statue represents the Gospel of John 14: 1 – 6:
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
In the Chapel Mausoleum, families had the opportunity to see the plans for the final expansion of the Chapel Mausoleum which will include 4,928 crypt spaces and 1,972 cremation niches. The Chapel Mausoleum is regarded as the most beautiful building of its kind in Broward County.
To close the activities, Deacon Thomas Dawson and the Family Service staff prayed the rosary for all those buried this past year.
Families attending blessing of window and Rosary service on Cemetery Sunday at Our Lady of Mercy
The window is blessed with holy water then with incense.
Our Lady of Consolation window
Father Israel Mago, Deacon Joe Naranjo, Pastoral Year Seminarian Ryan Saunders