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On Holy Ground

Mary Rose Bacani Valenti

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia seems like such a long time ago.  Since I’ve been back in the office, it’s one project after the other!
Being young and healthy, I haven’t thought much of death and where I’d like to be buried!  And I never really thought much about why I should look into Catholic cemeteries as an option necessarily.  I know a lot of people who say, well, it doesn’t matter where you’re buried because you’re dead anyway.  How true is this statement?
queen-of-heaven-st-anthonys-outside.jpgWorking on a video for Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Toronto brought me back to the life of the Church, and not death.  It brought me back to the time of Christ’s burial, to the catacombs, to the early parish cemeteries.  Catholic cemeteries are our heritage and natural conclusion to our lives.  The Church guides us, educates us, nourishes us, and reminds us that death is not the end but the beginning of an eternity with God.  The Church is not just an institution but our family!  Having Catholic cemeteries is the Church’s act of love towards us, providing us with consecrated ground to rest and wait for the Resurrection. 
In a Catholic cemetery, we are united in our faith in the resurrection, in our respect for the body, and in the power of prayer and the sacraments for the salvation of the souls of our deceased loved ones and for our own consolation. 
We need the faith life of the counselors at Catholic Cemeteries to reach out to us and console us.  We need the authentic symbols and atmosphere of the faith in our cemetery grounds to provide us a place to pray and to enter in to the mystery of life and death.
So, it’s been a wonderful experience working on this 15-minute video, entitled Holy Ground.  It will air, naturally enough, on November 1st, All Souls Day.  Stay tuned!

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