Twenty-Fifth Sunday of the Year
23 September 2012
Dear Friends in Christ,
Last Tuesday evening in Gallivan Hall, I explained how and why the discipline of the Catholic Church on cremation has changed in the last fifty years and then traced the long years of planning for our new columbarium. The Church still recommends that Catholics be buried in the ground because that custom more clearly bears witness to our faith in the resurrection of the body, but whether the process of decay takes a hundred years or only a few minutes, we are all destined to become dust as we await the Last Day and the return of Christ Jesus in glory. And when a parish is not able to provide burial in a graveyard near the church because of space limitations and the only option for one’s mortal remains to rest at the church is a columbarium, then a growing number of Catholics choose the now permitted practice of cremation. And that is why we are building Sacred Heart Columbarium.
Please see inside this bulletin for an information sheet about how to purchase a niche before construction begins. Until the end of November, parishioners of St. Mary’s will receive a discount of ten percent for each niche, and there are three prices corresponding to the location of the niche within the columbarium. Those prices are $4,000 for outward facing niches, $5,500 for inward facing niches, and $7,500 for niches flanking the statue of the Sacred Heart, and beginning on 1 December 2012, niches will be available for purchase to anyone, whether parishioner or not, and there will be no further discounts. All of which means that if you would like the spot of your choice and at a reduction of ten percent, you should make your decision before the end of November. The enclosed information sheet explains how to contact the church office to arrange for selecting and paying for the niche or niches you would like to buy, and we will take requests in the order in which they are received.
This columbarium will be a place of beauty, dignity, and serenity, and I am delighted with the design provided by the architects at McMillan, Pazdan, Smith. The new structure will be a worthy addition to the noble architecture of our campus, and it will stand as a perpetual witness to the truth that the Church in heaven, the Church on earth, and the Church in purgatory is one Church because not even death can separate us from Christ. Since the passage of death awaits us all, an essential part of Christian discipleship is a mature and frank understanding of this reality: we all live our lives against the horizon of inescapable death and the sure and certain hope of eternal life. Our new Sacred Heart Columbarium will serve, I pray, to remind us of the salutary truth that we are dust and unto dust we shall return, even as it invites us to give ourselves without reservation to the Lord Jesus Christ.