Christian Hope

Caring for body and soul: Funerals have effect on the living and the dead

Father Nicholas Smith has experienced many special moments: baptisms, weddings, you name it. But there's one he won't soon forget.

In June, Msgr. Joseph Pins passed away from cancer. He was the beloved rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis; Father Smith, director of the Office of Sacred Worship, was friends with Msgr. Pins for years and lived together at the cathedral basilica's rectory for two years.

Longtime missionaries' return is a cross to bear

Maryknoll Father Joseph W. Halpin was made for parish work, and Most Precious Blood Parish in Guatemala City was the right fit.

"I just liked the work with the people -- nice people, you know," Father Halpin said. They are warm and family-oriented, no pretenses, "very simple people," he said.

Father Halpin returned to his hometown of St. Louis Sept. 15 for kidney dialysis and now is at the Maryknoll health care facility in New York. "I'd rather be down there," he said of his parish. A lot of tears were shed when he said goodbye for the last time.

Catholic Cemeteries reports 2,235 burials in FY 2012-13

The Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis buried 2,235 individuals during the fiscal year July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013.

RESURRECTION in Affton, with 302 acres, was founded in 1929. It had the most burials in the archdiocese with 877.

CALVARY in north St. Louis, with 477 acres, is one of the oldest cemeteries, dating from 1853. It had the second most burials with 703 last year.

SACRED HEART in Florissant dates to 1874 and has 14 acres. It had 201 burials last year.

Catholic Cemeteries offers grave decoration removals

Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis offers a decoration removal service at all of its locations.

Removals take place beginning the second Wednesday of the month and continuing the following day, Thursday, from February through November. Removals will begin at 7:30 a.m. There will be no removal period in December or January to allow more time for holiday memorials to remain at grave sites.

When a cemetery holiday falls in a pick-up week, the pick up will be postponed to the following week. (E.g. Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, etc.)

Grief resources

• "Journeying through Grief," is a series of four short books by Kenneth C. Haugk and produced by Stephen Ministries, which are sent at four crucial times during the first year after the loss of a loved one. The cost is $9.95 for the set. to order.

Mass in memory of children Dec. 8

The annual Mass "In Memory of Our Children" will be celebrated on Sunday, Dec. 8.

Father Thomas Santen will celebrate the Mass at 2 p.m. at the Old Cathedral, 209 Walnut St. Downtown on the riverfront.

The Mass is an annual tradition that started in the 1980s and provides families who have lost a child a way to include them in their Christmas observance. Bereaved parents have said the Mass helps them celebrate Christmas with the memory of their child before taking part in holiday activities.

For more information on the Mass, call Rosalyn Hoehn at (636) 391-9374.

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