Ministry Newsletter │ July 2024

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July is Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

The month of July is traditionally dedicated to the Precious Blood, and Catholics are encouraged to meditate on the profound sacrifice of Jesus and the pouring out of His blood for humanity.

One particular devotion in the Catholic Church connected to the Passion of Jesus Christ is the honoring of His Precious Blood. It is a recognition of Jesus’ sacrifice and how He spilled His blood for the salvation of humanity. Furthermore, the blood of Christ, along with the body of Christ, is made present through the gift of the Eucharist.

Over time, the Church developed various feasts of the Precious Blood, but it wasn’t until the 19th century when a universal feast was established. In 1849, Pope Pius IX proclaimed that the first Sunday in July be dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. Later, Pope Pius X assigned July 1st as the fixed date of this celebration.

After the Second Vatican Council, the feast was removed from the liturgical calendar, but a votive Mass in honor of the Precious Blood was established and can be celebrated in the month of July (as well as most other months of the year).

May you have a blessed and spiritually fruitful month of July!

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To Have a Funeral Mass | Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

 

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello welcome and to the funeral facts with Deacon Marc this week we’re going to talk about the question of do you need to have a funeral mass? 

Oftentimes we have individuals come up to me and say you know what mom went to mass all the time but we don’t go to mass anymore so we don’t really need the mass. Do we still need to have the funeral mass?  

You want this simple answer?  

Yes!  

Because the funeral mass is not for us it’s partially for us but it’s more so for that individual who’s passed away. It’s their final time to be in the church in the presence of the Eucharist and we believe that we are giving that person the prayers for the journey to the heavenly father.  

For it says in the catechism; 

“She the church asks to purify this child of their sins and the consequences and to the pascal fullness of the table of the Kingdom” 

So during the funeral mass what we’re doing is we are coming to our heavenly father who is fully merciful and loves us of the eternally and saying we’ll pray for this person and we’re commending them over to you and so when we have the funeral mass yes it’s helpful to all those that are here in the congregation to help us fill that void of loss that we have. 

Remember that God gave us his love and that our gift is a total gift to us but one of the amazing reasons why we have the funeral mass is so for that loved one passed away could be here in the presence of Eucharist in communion with the entire church as we turn that individual over to the love and mercy of God so do you want to have a funeral mass?  

Yes!

And should you have a funeral mass for your loved one? 

Absolutely!

That’s funeral facts of Deacon Marc for this week 

Make it a great week! 

To learn more about our funeral services, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/services/funeral/

Ministry Newsletter │ June 2024

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June is Dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Although devotion to the love of God and to the love of Jesus can be traced to the time of the Apostles St. John and St. Paul, historians trace the earliest devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, specifically, to the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It is believed that Jesus chose Margaret Mary Alacoque, in the 17th century, to share with the world His desire to bring new devotion to His Sacred Heart. Jesus revealed to Margaret Mary twelve promises that He would bestow upon all those who practice the devotion. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was officially recognized and approved by Pope Clement XIII in 1765, seventy-five years after Margaret Mary’s death. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which occurs 19 days after Pentecost, on a Friday, was inaugurated in 1856. Margaret Mary was canonized a Saint by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.

Additionally, the First Friday Devotion, also known as the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was made popular by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. For more than 100 years, Mount Olivet has had the tradition of holding a Mass, on the first Friday of the month, to pray for all those individuals in our care at our various cemeteries. This year, the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus will fall on the first Friday of June on June 7th.

It is interesting to note that the Archdiocese of Denver’s own Servant of God Julia Greeley had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and she died on the Feast of the Sacred Heart on June 7, 1918.

May you have a blessed and spiritually fruitful month of June!

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Funeral Etiquette | Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

 

Below is a transcript the the video:

What do you do and what don’t you do? This is Deacon Marc with the funeral facts and today we’re going to talk about funerals and what to expect and how to act, because most of us don’t attend a funeral that often and we often get a lot of questions around funerals and how do you actually expect what you do so let me give you a couple pointers today.

First of all what do you wear? This is not a chance for you to bring out your fluorescent orange vest or your pink flamboyant tie or anything like that. It really is still traditional black navy dark solid colors. You always want to dress traditionally for a funeral modestly for a funeral, darker colors.

Second piece people ask me is, what do I bring to the funeral? Do I bring a gift to them? Do I get a gift card for them? What do I do? and typically what is generally there’s nothing expected. Bringing yourself is what’s most important but if you did want to really bring something bring them a card with a nice note in there that you’re praying for them that they can read later. Some people do like to bring flowers to leave at the graveside with to leave with the family but really flowers or card is what to do.

If you really want to bring something I could tell you what not to bring, your cell phone. Leave it totally in the car there’s no need for you to have the type cell phone really could become a distraction to yourself if you think you’re gonna be taking pictures, no, just leave it in the car there’s no need to have it. There’s no need to have it there let yourself be focused on this time with the family.

Speaking of time, be on time and stay for the entire time arrive early stay till the end and we never know how long a funeral is gonna be that priest homily can be extra long the eulogy can be long good the long and so plan for adequate time you being there is about you being present for that family so give yourself plenty of time in the day to be present for that funeral.

At the same point in time be prepared may want to bring a little bottle of water with you so that in case your throat gets parched with tissues with you if you think you have a cold or it might get teary eyed bringing some mints with you for the wonderful breath that we all have. But come prepared to the funeral with some items so that you don’t have to walk out during the funeral to help with those type of things

Finally be there for the family be present for the family and the biggest one of the biggest pieces of funeral etiquette that I can give you is be sure to say you’re condolences to the family and don’t be one of those who sneaks out the back door and avoid saying goodbye to the family. What really needs to happen at that time is for you to just go up to the family and give your condolences I’ve done another video on how to get those condolences but for right now just plan on having that difficult time going up to the family telling them I’m sorry giving them a hug if it’s appropriate and letting them know that you’re here for them these are just a couple of funeral etiquette ideas for you to help you through that funeral if you may have one up here in the near future.

This is funeral facts with Deacon Marc make it great day and God bless.

To learn more about our funeral services, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/services/funeral/

Ministry Newsletter │ May 2024

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May is Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin May

The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. You may be familiar with the expression, “April showers bring May flowers.” Many cultures, including the Ancient Greeks and Romans, associated May with new life and growth. Symbolically, Mary can be viewed as a “second” or “new” Eve. In the Book of Genesis, Eve is described as “the mother of all the living” (Gen. 3:20). However, Eve’s disobedience brought about death (Gen. 2:17). Saint Jerome observed, “Death came through Eve, but life has come through Mary” (Epistle 22). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, who, in turn, brought salvation to all. Jesus conquered death (1 Cor. 15:54-55) and is the source of eternal life (John 3:16-17). Thus, “dying He destroyed our death, rising He restored our life” (CCC 1067). Through Jesus Christ, Mary became our mother, the mother of all the living in the order of supernatural grace. Thus, the month of May has been dedicated to Mary due to the symbolism of new life and growth.

Different cultures honor Mary in various ways during the month of May. Some recite the Rosary every day during the month. The devotion of a May Crowning is practiced in many Catholic parishes, schools, and homes. A wreath, or crown, of flowers is ceremonially placed on a statue of Mary and flowers can be placed at the feet. Also, this year, there are three Marian feast days in May. The Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima is celebrated on May 13th. The Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, is celebrated on the Monday following Pentecost. This year, it falls on May 20th. The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on May 31st.

May you have a blessed and spiritually fruitful month of May!

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How to Talk with Someone Who is Grieving | Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

 

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello, this is Deacon Marc with Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc, and today we’re going to talk about that difficult conversation for many people; what do you say to someone who’s just lost a loved one? How do you have that? For many people that very difficult conversation and what I’m going to do is offer you 5 suggestions as ways that you can prepare and have that conversation in a healthy meaningful and loving type of way. 

One is it is very simple to start the conversation, just let them know I’m sorry for your loss my condolences on your loss and let them know that you’re empathizing with them and that you’re sorry that they lost their loved one. 

The second piece of it is, offering to pray but even better yet offering to pray with them right then. “I know you lost your dad it’s difficult time for you can we just pray together?” You just take a moment to pray together and be with them in prayer and lift yourselves up to the heavenly father and the love of heaven flow.

The third piece to think about is a favorite memory. “I’m sorry you lost your mother. I’m sure you’ve have several great memories of her. Can you share one of those memories with me? I’d love to hear more about your mother that you loved.” Asking them to share a favorite memory.  

 Fourthly, you want to just be present with them and sometimes that means just having some silence. As awkward as it may be, just let them be in silence and let the person be there with you. 

 And finally number five, what can I offer for you? And if you’re offering to help them, most of them they don’t even know what help they need or what you can offer. It’s very good to say “Hey I love to help and bring a dinner over on Tuesday. Would that be helpful to you? Or would there be a better way for me to help you out?” and be very specific in what you can offer but also open-ended that if there’s something else they want to ask you for that they can ask you for that. 

It is a very difficult conversation to have with someone but it’s a very important conversation to have with people and so just offer your condolences being there offering your prayer love and support is the way that you can help console and be there for a friend who’s lost a loved one. 

 This is Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc make it a great day. God bless 

Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services (CFCS) of Colorado is dedicated to providing caring support before, during, and after the end-of-life process, thereby fulfilling our core purpose of “Filling the Void of Loss with Faith.” CFCS Colorado has partnered with Saint Raphael Counseling (a ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver Catholic Charities) to provide a Grief Support Program to the families we serve. Through this partnership, CFCS Colorado offers a tiered grief support program to meet the needs of our families and to help families navigate the journey of grief. This program is also open to the public as part of our community outreach.

To learn more about our Grief Support Program, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/mission-programs/grief-support/

The Funeral Liturgy (The Mass) │ by Deacon Marc

The Funeral Liturgy (The Mass)

Thornton CO Funeral Services And Cremations

Do we really have to have a Funeral Mass (or Funeral Liturgy Outside of Mass)?   What if no one is going to come?   These are two questions I often receive from individuals when I discuss funerals with them.   The answer is a strong YES!  While the Funeral Mass is partially for the living, it is more so for the deceased.  There are graces for the decedent that come in having a Funeral Liturgy.  This is the last opportunity for your body to be present in front of the Eucharist – the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.   Yes, you want to have a Funeral Liturgy.   Yes, when possible and feasible, you want to have a Funeral Mass.

As the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, it should be of no surprise that the Funeral Liturgy is the central part of the Order of Christian Funerals.  While you can utilize the Funeral Liturgy Outside of Mass for specific reasons, the Funeral Mass is the typical and ordinary form of liturgy used within the Order of Christian Funerals.  The Funeral Mass is always the preferred liturgy.  Whether you have a traditional casket burial or a cremation burial, individuals can have a funeral Mass.  That said, the preference is always to have the full body present.  This means the preference is to have cremation take place following the Mass.

Those attending a Funeral Mass will find it very similar to their Sunday Mass with a few additions.  You have the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.   If this is the first time the body is coming into the Church, the Rite of Reception takes place at the start of the Mass.  During this rite, a pall is placed on the casket and the casket is blessed with holy water prior to processing to the front of the church.  However, if the body is cremated, the pall is not utilized.  After the Liturgy of the Eucharist; the Funeral Mass ends with Commendation Prayers.   This Funeral Liturgy Outside of Mass has most of the same components except the Liturgy of the Eucharist is omitted.

Often, people ask if they can have a eulogy at the Funeral Liturgy.  The Archdiocese of Denver does allow for one short eulogy just prior to the Commendation Prayers, and it must be noted that the ideal time for the eulogies is at the Vigil.

The focus of the Funeral Liturgy is on God’s love for us.  There is no greater example of His love than Jesus dying on the cross for each of us.   This is what we celebrate at every Mass.  We have one final opportunity to participate in this celebration at our Funeral Mass.  Do you really want to miss out on that celebration?   I don’t!   I don’t want to miss the opportunity for the graces that come forth, nor the opportunity for my loved one to fill the void of loss with faith.

Deacon Marc Nestorick
Outreach Manager
Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado

For more information, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/services/funeral/

The Catholic Church on Natural Burial / “Green Burial” │ Funeral Facts

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to the funeral facts with Deacon Marc

We’ve been going on about a three-week now this is our 4th edition around the final disposition. We talked about what his final disposition? The traditional ways of final disposition, the not so traditional but permitted ways, and then last week we talked about non options and why they were non option.

This week we’re going to talk about a question that like goes on the fringe of all that and it all comes down to how do you define this answer.

Is natural burial permitted?

And anytime, I get that question all the time, can I have natural burial? and first thing I gotta ask them is: what do you consider a natural burial? because in many cases they go back into the composting and different things like that when we’ve already talked about that and that’s not a go and this is why it’s not a go, but we can do an environmentally friendly burial and the church embraces and encourages us to respect the environment and to be environmental friendly so natural burial done properly within the Catholic view is something that is greatly permitted.

So what is a natural burial that is environmentally friendly and aligned with Catholic teaching? And so I can talk about a couple of different things first of all, you don’t have to be embalmed. You can say no to embalming we don’t have to have all those chemicals in your body we don’t have to have all those chemicals in the world you can say no to embalming.

I do need to let you know though if you say no to embalming you have to have a closed casket in most cases. Most cases, most funeral homes will not let you have an unemblamed, open casket. I don’t think your family wants to have, see you unembalmed in an open casket. It just is not, the body deteriorates way too quickly. so you don’t have to have embalming.

You don’t have to have a casket, in most cases. I’ve had people asking I buried in a big sheet type of thing and the answer is yes there’s no requirement that you have a casket. Can I be buried directly on the ground? Can I my body be touching dirt? The answer is yes you can.

And then the final thing I’ve been asked is can we do it so that there’s no machinery digging the grave the answer is yes depending upon the cemetery you can do that, but it probably is going to be very expensive because it costs a lot of money to hand dig the hole that is needed for proper burial.

So those are things that you can do people to minimize the environmental impact the and all that on on the environment is that you can do no embalming, you can do no casket, you can do directly upon the ground, and you could do no machinery if you wanted to do so.

All those contribute to a natural burial so really you can have a burial where someone passes away and you’re put into the ground, but you gotta talk to the cemetery because even in our cemetery we do have one condition upon all that is that we do require that there is a cement vault placed over top of your body so that it prevents the ground from caving in.

What we don’t want to have happen is a safety issue where we have this flat cemetery then all of a sudden we have this deep ditch that is provides with the safety issue and an issue for us to do the landscaping and upkeep of it and so in our cemetery you can be buried on the ground but you have to have a cement vault over top of you to prevent that ground from caving in and make sure that it’s a safety issue.

So all those things can be done it really is a matter of if you want a natural burial call it the cemetery call us up talk to us here about all of it Saints Simeon we can work through the different issues with you and talk to you through what you can and cannot do but in the bottom line is; We want to be environmentally friendly we want to support human being environmentally friendly and there’s a lot that we can do to accomplish that

That is this week’s funeral facts with Deacon Marc make it a great day.

For more information about Catholic Church teaching, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/catholic-teaching/

Catholic Church on Water Cremation / Aquamation and Human Body Composting

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to funeral facts with Deacon Marc.

We’ve been going through a series talking about final dispositions and this one is an interesting one to me and I call it the non options. What are the things that are not options for us as Catholics and more importantly why? Why are these not the right options for us as Catholics not just because someone told us no but why are they not in options.

And so if you’re looking at the funeral industry today, it is absolutely crazy all the different options that you have we have, burial, cremation, donation of the body to science, burial at sea, alkaline hydrolysis, natural organic reduction, cryogenics, mushroom suit. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera; the list goes on and on.

So how do we navigate all this what has permitted and at some points we need to trust those that are studying morality as a church to give us some guidance but we always have to remember that whatever we’re going to do with the body at the end has to be guided by really one major thing and two other sub things of it and that is number one that paragraph 2300 in the catechism that reads:

“The body of the dead must be treated with respect and charity and faith and hope of the resurrection the burial of dead is a corporal work of mercy it honors the children of God who are temples of the Holy Spirit.”

Bottom line with anything we wanna both respect the body and how we treat it and also respect the body in its final disposition and then the other two parts that really come out of that is that the body should be interred as one unit. That doesn’t mean one solid unit but as  one unit in its entirety in a cemetery and it has a you should have the means to do that

And then the other piece of that we don’t often think about is there needs to be that promise of the long term care of the remains and that’s why a lot of places are hesitant to open up cemeteries at local churches and many diocese prefer to have diocesan cemeteries, just because we can make sure that those cemeteries are there forever rather than the church that may close in 15, 20 or 30 years and then you’re like what do we do with all these with this cemetery we have here so three things that we always want to take into consideration and we respect the body both in how are treating it and what we’re doing with it are we in turning the remains and is there long term care possibilities for those remains.

So when you’re thinking about that we have appropriate final dispositions that meet all three of those criteria burial, cremation, burial at sea, donation to scientific research with internment. All those have meet those 3 criteria could be done with respect with internment with long term Care now if we look at all the others and I’m not going to go into each one of them you can look them up if you want I know there’s a lot of curiosity about the mushroom suit but let’s look at two of the most common ones.

Alkaline hydrolysis (sometimes referred to as “water cremation” or “aquamation”) and natural organic reduction (sometimes referred to as “human body composting”) are processes where essentially your body is put into a stainless steel tube, water is combined with some different chemicals is put in and in a short amount of time that combination of the water and chemicals deteriorates all body other than the skeletal remains that water and the chemicals are then released into the sewage system and then the bones are broken down and returned to the family the other one is composting and if you think of having a compost heap back in your backyard that’s exactly similar to what’s it’s doing but a more deliberate purpose for the human body is that you’re combining the body with different things that will allow for the compost over the course of about a month in many cases is what I’ve read so now you might be asking “well what’s the problem with both of those?”

But both of those have problems and that in the respect for the body and in the internment of the remains and with regard to respect for the body both of those processes really aren’t respectful that this is part of the gods the body of that are made in the image of God and also the internment issues are an issue with both and particularly the alkaline hydrolysis much of the body other than the skeletal remains are going down with the tubes with the water rather than being buried with the individual and so in both cases individuals who when the churches looked at this with people who specialize in moral theology have really deemed that these other processes are not respectful of the human body and that we need to stick with the more traditional burial, cremation, burial at see, or donating the body to science with Interment at a later date

A lot to go into a lot of nuances with it there’s some great research and great publications out there with regards to these alternative practices that aren’t accepted we’re going to include in the notes below this video some websites that you can go to that actually have question and answers about all these different processes and can outline them a little bit better than I can in the short video but the bottom line is we got 4 dispositions that are permanent because they respect the body there’s internment of the remains and there’s long term care possibilities there and there many others that are not that way because of lack of respect of the body.

Next week we’re gonna look at one that goes I get a lot of questions about natural burial and how does that apply into these situations we’re gonna talk about that next week in funeral facts with Deacon mark make it a great day.

For more information about Catholic teaching and norms for funerals, cremation, and burial, visit our website: https://cfcscolorado.org/catholic-teaching/

Ministry Newsletter │ April 2024

Ministry Newsletter │ April 2024

Click here to view our entire ministry newsletter.

April is Dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Spirit

The month of April is dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Spirit. Easter Sunday can occur between March 22nd and April 25th, depending on the lunar cycle of a particular year. Even if Easter Sunday occurs in March, the Easter Season will still include April. In many ways, April can be seen as the “Month of Easter.”

The Blessed Sacrament refers to the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as the Eucharist. The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus Christ, himself, on Holy Thursday as described in the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 26:25-29; Mark 14:22-26; and Luke 22:14-20. St. Paul also records the institution in First Corinthians 11:23-25. Although the Gospel of John does not include words of institution, John 6:47-67 is very explicit about Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist. “Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (John 6:53-56). Thus, the Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1324).

We are currently in the Year of Parish Revival phase of the National Eucharistic Revival which is focused on renewing the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Reach out to your local parish to learn how you can participate. Click here to learn more.

May you have a blessed and spiritually fruitful month of April!

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End-of-Life Preplanning Lunch & Learn Presentations | Aug. 3rd 9:00am and 1:00pm | Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery

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