Dear Friends in Christ,

May the grace and peace of our risen Lord, Jesus Christ be with you, now and always. I offer this greeting to you in the hope that you will receive the peace that only our Lord Jesus can give. His love for each of us is so strong, and when we are suffering loss or pain, his promise that he would always be with us needs to be heard and reaffirmed.

Here at Saint Joseph Cemetery we remember the words God spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai – “The place where you are standing is Holy Ground.” Through the sacred rites of burial and entombment, the memory and presence of those buried here, and by the living who offer prayers and thanksgiving, this ground is truly blessed. Catholic Cemeteries are places where we find consolation amidst sorrow. Here the living and dead are joined in the mysterious communion of saints – a communion of faith and love. It is here we pray to our God, who is all loving and merciful.

Until the time that Christ shall come again in glory, we observe the ancient custom of honoring the dead with Christian Burial. Just as Jesus was placed in the tomb our beloved are joined with our Lord in a special relationship. Our Baptisms remind us that if we live and die with the Lord, we shall also be raised with him. At Saint Joseph Cemetery, the utmost care and respect is given to all who are here laid to their rest. We grieve with you, but not as St. Paul reminds us, like those who have no hope. Rather, we have the sure and certain hope that one day we all shall be united again.

And so we pray:

O God of all consolation, in your unending love and mercy for us, You turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life. Show compassion to Your people in sorrow. Be our refuge and our strength to lift us from the darkness of this grief to peace and joy in Your presence. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. AMEN

Rev. G. Scott Shaffer