Throughout the Church’s history, Christian burial has been an integral part of Catholic life. Catholic dogmas and doctrines relating to death and resurrection have been reflected in the liturgy, devotions and customs surrounding the death and burial of the faithful. Catholic belief in death as the entrance into eternity, hope in the resurrection, recognition of the value of prayer for the deceased, reverence for the body which remains, a sense of the mystery and sacredness which surround death — all of these should be reflected in the ministry and rites that are part of the Church’s pastoral response to death, the care of the body of the deceased and the consolation of the living.
The General Introduction of the Order of Christian Funerals teaches that “when a member of Christ’s Body dies, the faithful are called to a ministry of consolation to those who have suffered the loss of one whom they love. Christian consolation is rooted in that hope that comes from faith in the saving death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christian hope faces the reality of death and the anguish of grief but trusts confidently that the power of sin and death has been vanquished by the Risen Lord. The Church calls each member of Christ’s Body — priest, deacon, layperson — to participate in the ministry of consolation to care for the dying, to pray for the dead, to comfort those who mourn.” (OCF, 8)
If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, please accept our deepest sympathies. The Ave Maria clergy and staff are here to help with the details of planning the funeral and burial. We work with the funeral home and the family to best accommodate the wishes of the deceased and family. To begin the planning process, please call the parish office and speak with Stephanie Pointz, Administrative Assistant, at 239-261-5555. Once the funeral date and time have been established, then a planning meeting can be set up.
My greatest pleasure is to go there (the cemetery) to say my beads and meditate on that unending happiness which so many of them are already enjoying.