Catholic Cemeteries Association and the
Entering Calvary Cemetery you pull off a busy street and enter a winding drive that appears to bend and twist as far as the eye can see across 300+ acres of land. The noise from the surrounding neighborhood seems to dissolve into the background as you arrive at this place of peace, this holy ground.
“There’s just something different and people say it all the time, when they drive in, they take a deep breath and it’s a relaxing moment because they recognize they’ve entered this sacred, peaceful space,” said Ginny Pippin, Director of Business Development for Catholic Cemeteries Association.
On a recent tour of Calvary Cemetery, we were granted the opportunity to enter this sacred space and learn more about Catholic Cemeteries Association and the impact they have in Northeast Ohio with 20 cemeteries and 8 offices.
To meet the needs of their families, Catholic Cemeteries Association is committed to ministering to them before, during and after the death of a loved one. They offer a full range of burial services providing for ground burial and cremation. They also offer pre-planning with their experienced Family Service Representatives as well as a Bereavement program. During our tour we not only learned about the services they offer to families but also the impressive scope of operation that comes with running and maintaining 20 beautiful cemeteries.
What we really wanted to know though was, what is the Catholic difference? Why choose a Catholic cemetery for your own or your loved ones final resting place?
“For us it’s not a business, it’s a ministry” said Ginny. “We don’t have quotas, it’s not about how many people walk through our door, it’s that when someone comes to us they’re a part of our family and so we look at it as a relationship and we try to do everything we can to accommodate and comfort them.”
Catholic Cemeteries not only provides individual attention during the pre-planning process as well as bereavement services, but they also light a candle and pray for and with the families who come to them. Many of their cemeteries have a chapel on the premises that families can spend time in and light their own candle in memory of their loved one.
Ginny went on to describe the “Catholic difference” which stands out during the tour of the cemetery itself. Far across the 300 acres of land there are monuments and headstones that depict religious figures, saints, angels and Biblical stories. “Walking through here helps us reflect, it’s almost like a retreat as well as paying tribute to those who went before us,” said Ginny.
“I think the other piece is that when we think about burying a loved one, whether it’s above ground or below ground, we are doing two things; we’re giving tribute to their life by remembering them and honoring them, but we’re also doing something for ourselves. It gives us a place to connect with that person, it gives us a place to remember, it gives us a place to just be one with our belief that in God we’re all united,” said Ginny.
If you or a family member or friend would like to visit one of the Catholic cemeteries or find out more information, you can call them at 216-641-7575 or learn more at www.clecem.org.