Bereavement 2014 - Diocese of Trenton



Bereavement 2014 - Diocese of Trenton
2014 Annual
B e r e av e m e n t
FEBruary 27, 2014
rief is a journey that has no
timetable. It is an experience
of pain and loneliness that
often catches the bereaved off-guard
with its intensity. The need for ministers
to walk with the bereaved through this
difficult time is a call of the Church, one
that reminds the faithful that consolation is rooted in faith and hope in the
Resurrection of Christ.
Across the Diocese of Trenton,
parish bereavement ministries answer
the call to walk with others in their
grief. Their work, to promote healing,
provide information and help those who
have experienced a loss to grieve well, is
supported through training and resources
offered by the diocesan Department of
Pastoral Care. Learn more about
these ministries on S-3, S-6.
Words of Remembrance
Bishop O’Connell reflects on the Order
of Christian Funerals and meaning
behind sharing words of remembrance
• S-2
Prayers for the Dead
As part of the Communion of Saints,
prayers for the dead are a continued
connection of love • S-7
Ministry of Meals
Bringing food to the grieving is a
powerful ministry for both body and
soul • S-9
Expectant Grief
Sometimes grief begins well before the
death of a loved one • S-12
Growing Trend
Women as funeral directors put a
new face on a helping
profession • S-12
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
A message from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
‘If We Die with the Lord, We Shall Live
with the Lord:’ Reflections on the Order
of Christian Funerals
oming from an Irish Catholic family, I can list everyone who was and,
especially, who was not in attendance
at family funerals! It’s a trait that is not
reserved exclusively to the Irish.
I don’t mean to make light of a particularly difficult time in people’s lives. In fact,
there are few occasions in our experience
that call for heightened sensitivity as much
as the death of a loved one. People tend not
to forget what happens at a wake or funeral
... ever. That fact should make
priests, deacons and pastoral
ministers all the more careful
and solicitous with grieving
“The Church
Among the most beautiful
aspects of the Roman Catholic
GIVES us these
liturgy are the rituals used by
the Church in its “Order of
rites; we, the
Christian Funerals.” Even those
who are not Catholic remark
community of
how consoling and comforting our funeral prayers and
faith including
customs are.
There is one area, however,
the presiding
especially within the Catholic
funeral Mass, that has become
priest, don’t
increasingly neuralgic and
problematic for pastors, priests
make them up
and people, and that is the
giving of eulogies or other reourselves as we
marks in the context of Mass.
The “Order of Christian Fugo along.”
nerals” states specifically that
following the prayer after communion “a member or a friend
of the family may speak in
remembrance of the deceased before the final
commendation begins (no. 170).” This “remembrance” is not the same as the “homily”
or sermon after the Gospel which is reserved
by the Church’s law to an ordained priest
or deacon (canon 767, para. 1). The priest’s
(or deacon’s) homily, according to the ritual,
“should always be given at the funeral liturgy
but, never any kind of eulogy. ... Through
the homily, the community should receive
the consolation and the strength to face the
death of one of its members with the hope
that has been nourished by the proclamation
of the saving word of God (no. 141).”
The issue is not so much the homily,
which should be thoughtfully prepared and
sincerely delivered by the priest or deacon in
a way appropriate to the occasion and those
gathered to pray for the deceased. Problems
sometimes arise regarding the “remembrance” delivered following the prayer after
communion. Who should give it? What
should it say (or not say)? How long should
it be? The “Order of Christian Funerals” does
not give answers to these questions. Neither
does the Diocese.
The expectation of the Church in giving
us these funeral rites and of the Diocese is
that the ritual will be observed and that the
parish priest will provide guidance to and
will work with the grieving family to make
good and appropriate decisions so that the
funeral Mass serves the holy purpose for
which the Church offers it to people at their
time of loss. And that is an important point
to keep in mind: the Church GIVES us these
rites; we, the community of faith including
the presiding priest, don’t make them up
ourselves as we go along. At times, appropriate adaptations might need to be made in
special circumstances but, ultimately, that is
the responsibility of the parish priest attending to the family.
The “Order of Christian Funerals” indicates “a” member or friend of the family
“may speak in remembrance.” It is not required and neither the funeral Mass nor the
memory of the deceased is diminished if such
a remembrance is not given. The ritual limits
this remembrance to one person speaking
and that is the practice usually observed in
the parishes of the Diocese of Trenton.
The idea behind this practice is not
to restrict people but, rather, to maintain
respect, reverence and decorum for both the
deceased and the Mass itself. Many people
have special memories of the deceased but
the funeral Mass is neither the time nor the
place for everyone with such a memory to
speak. The grieving family, if it desires such a
remembrance at the funeral Mass, should decide on and select the person who will speak,
and should inform the parish priest ahead
of time. And the speaker should be a family
member or friend who is not so stricken with
grief that the delivery of a remembrance is
impeded or cannot be completed.
The remembrance should be just that:
a remembrance and a fitting tribute, not a
retelling of the deceased person’s entire life
history or a presentation of their curriculum
vitae. It should not be lengthy, certainly not
longer than the homily. Nor should it be a
comedy monologue or joke fest about the
deceased. Good humor can be appropriate
and can certainly lift the veil of sadness that
a family or community feels in the moment
but jokes themselves are not the purpose of
the remembrance provided for in the ritual.
“Off-color” remarks are never appropriate at a
funeral Mass. Funny stories are better saved
for and shared at the wake or at the luncheon
Words of Remembrance • Nancy King,
the sister of the late Father William Evans, offers
“words of remembrance” about her brother during
his funeral Mass in December. The Church’s “Order
of Christian Funerals” provides an opportunity for a
friend or loved one of the deceased to share words
of remembrance at the end of the Mass before the
final commendation. Bishop David M. O’Connell,
C.M., explains that this ritual is intended to show
respect and reverence for both the deceased and
the Mass itself. John Batkowski photo
following the funeral Mass and burial.
The embrace at the funeral Mass should
be an opportunity for the speaker to lift up
the goodness of the deceased and his/her
importance and relevance to those gathered
to pray for him/her at a funeral Mass. It is
always suggested that the speaker share his/
her remarks with the parish priest ahead of
time, whenever possible.
The “Order of Christian Funerals” as given to us by the Catholic Church should be an
experience of faith, hope and loving comfort
for those grieving the death of a loved one,
remembering and respecting the one who has
died and whom we offer back in the funeral
Mass to the God who created him/her. The
Church and the Diocese hope that the ritual
observed serves that holy purpose.
It is the responsibility of individual
parishes in the Diocese to develop fitting and
appropriate customs and practices to achieve
that end, including those surrounding the remembrance given at the funeral Mass. Those
customs and practices may differ slightly
from parish to parish but the general expectation of the Church and the Diocese is that
the “Order of Christian Funerals” is followed
as given to us by the Church for the consolation and hope of those experiencing grief at
the death of a loved one.
FEBruary 27, 2014 •
Diocese offers support to ministers of those who mourn
By Christina Leslie
hen a member of Christ’s
Body dies, the faithful are
called to a ministry of consolation to those who have suffered the
loss of one whom they love. Christian
consolation is rooted in that hope that
comes from faith in the saving death and
resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
These words, excerpted from the
Order of Christian Funerals,expresses
the core of bereavement ministry encouraged and supported by the Diocesan Department of Pastoral Care.
John Kalinowski, director of the
department, acknowledged the need
to offer enrichment and instruction to
those who minister to others in times of
great loss, in order to meet the call of the
Church to “each member of Christ’s Body
– priest, deacon, lay person – to participate in the ministry of consolation: to
care for the dying, to pray for the dead,
to comfort those who mourn” (OCF).
The Diocese of Trenton aims to provide bereavement education, resources
and support to parishes and care providers via two-day workshops for initial
training, and follow-up enrichment days
and seminars. Topics discussed include
understanding the grief process, developing communication skills in dealing
“Christian consolation
is rooted in that hope
that comes from faith.”
with the bereaved and training in the
facilitation of support groups.
The Department of Pastoral Care
has adapted the material issued by the
National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved for use in a training program for
facilitators. “Training consists of formal
presentation of the bereavement materials but, more importantly, a hands-on
approach to forming groups, effective
communication (empathetic and reflective listening skills) and group dynamics,” reported Kalinowski. “Our coordinators have many years of running their
own support groups as well as assisting
in the training of new facilitators.”
Bereaving children’s special needs
prompted inclusion of the international
RAINBOWS Ministry into the Diocese.
Available to parishes, schools, religious education and youth programs,
RAINBOWS is organized according to
guidelines instituted by the non-profit,
Chicago-based organization which has
served more than 2.7 million youth
since its inception in 1983. Kalinowski,
a registered RAINBOWS facilitator, can
assist in finding local programs.
Kalinowski noted the ever-increasing desire for these services within
the parish families of the Diocese. He
revealed, “Bereavement support is the
most of any of our calls and emails that
we receive each week. Our process is
to find a local parish and contact the
person, whether it be for themselves
or a family member, and get them the
support they need one-on-one or in the
context of a support group.”
The ministry is growing within the
Trenton Diocese, Kalinowski reported.
“We estimate over 300 active people
involved in this ministry throughout
the Diocese in [about] 80 parishes,” he
enumerated. “In the past year we have
trained 66 new facilitators at 28 parishes across the Diocese.”
The next diocesan training workshop,
slated for April 4-5, will be held in Holy
Family Parish’s Community Center, 1143
East County Line Road, Lakewood, from
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Attendance on both days is required
to complete facilitator training. Participants are invited to bring any parish
bereavement materials they would like
to share. The cost of the workshop is
$75 per person; parishes may choose to
subsidize this fee.
To register, send name, address,
phone, email, and parish name and town,
along with a check made payable to the
Diocese of Trenton, to the Department of
Pastoral Care, Attention John M. Kalinowski; Diocese of Trenton, 701 Lawrenceville
Road, P.O. Box 5147, Trenton, N.J. 08638.
Registration is due by March 28. For further information, contact the Pastoral Care
department at 609-403-7157.
Get your daily dose of
Pope Francis…
The Holy Father has spoken out
prolifically on the ways that
Catholics should give witness to
their faith in Jesus Christ.
The Monitor
posts something
new from Pope
Francis everyday.
Go to
and click on POPE FRANCIS.
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
Braun Funeral Home
106 Broad Street
Eatontown, NJ
Bedle Funeral Homes
601 Broad Street
Keyport, NJ
layton &
layton &
212 Main Street
Matawan, NJ
clayton mcGirr
Robert C. McGirr, Owner & Manager, NJ Lic. # 3273
100 Elton-Adelphia Road·Freehold Township·NJ·07728
(One Block East of Route 9)
Robert C. McGirr, Owner & Manager, NJ Lic. # 3273
7 3 2 - 4 6 2 - 0 1 0 1
100 Elton-Adelphia Road·Freehold Township·NJ·07728
East of Route 9)
P r e a r r a n g e m e n t (a O
n nd e PBr el opcaky m
ent Plans Available
V i s i t o u r w e b s i t e a t : www.clayton funeralho me. co m
7 3 2 - 4 6 2 - 0 1 0 1
Prearrangement and Prepayment Plans Available
V i s i t o u r w e b s i t e a t : www.clayton funeralho me. co m
DeGraff Lakehurst
Funeral Home, Inc.
Funeral Services
Within the
Means of All
Cremation Services
Serving All Faiths
Family Owned & Operated
Sherry DeGraff, Manager
NJ Lic. No. 3921
119 Union Avenue, Lakehurst, NJ
FEBruary 27, 2014 •
Personalized funerals are missing spiritual aspects
By Pete Sheehan
Catholic News Service
LONG ISLAND, N.Y • The trend in
funerals today toward more personalized, less traditional ceremonies is
taking these services where no funerals
have gone before.
In recent years funeral industry
officials have reported a wide range of
different ways people are paying tribute
to friends and loved ones. For example,
a Houston-based Space Services Inc.,
specializing in commercial space ventures, will launch cremated remains into
Other more literally down-to-earth
funerals have included ceremonies on
a golf course when the deceased was
an avid golfer or having an ice cream
truck lead the funeral procession for the
burial of man who made his living selling ice cream.
“We have been seeing this for some
time,” said Daniel Biggins, a spokesperson for the National Funeral Directors
Association and vice president and chief
operating officer for Magoun-Biggins
Funeral Home in Rockland, Mass.
More common personalized funerals include displays of photos, playing of
videos about the deceased or music dear
to the departed, Biggins said. Often the
Art of
• Photos fill a
posterboard near
the casket of a
departed loved
one. In recent years,
funeral industry
officials have
reported a wide
range of different
ways people are
paying tribute to
friends and family.
CNS photo/Karen
Callaway, Catholic New
funeral home is replacing the church as
the funeral venue – with or without a
minister, priest or deacon.
“People want the funeral to reflect
the life of their loved one,” Biggins said.
“It is a very consumer-driven movement.”
Many who minister to grieving
families from a Christian perspective
say they understand the desire for personalized funerals, but they also offer
Rev. Thomas Long, a Presbyterian
minister and professor of theology at
Emory University in Atlanta, said the
trend of personalized funerals reflects
changes in the culture.
“It took five centuries for the
Christian church to develop a funeral
rite that is truly Christian,” said Rev.
Long, author of “Accompany Them With
Singing: The Christian Funeral,” and
co-author of the soon-to-be-released
“The Good Funeral: Death, Grief and the
Community of Care.”
The narrative behind the Christian
approach to a funeral, he explained, is
that “the deceased is on a journey to
God. We are accompanying them along
the journey.”
He said the journey begins with
Baptism, for which the newly baptized
person wears a white garment. At the
funeral, the final stage of that journey,
the deceased has a white pall draped
over the casket to evoke baptism.
Sister Mary Alice Piil, a sister of
St. Joseph and director of the Office
of Faith Formation for the Diocese of
Rockville Centre, N.Y., said some families, in their desire for personalization,
have difficulty grasping the symbolism
in traditional funerals.
For example, she said one woman
spoke to her about a New York Yankees’
flag draped over a casket at a funeral
and couldn’t understand the insistence
on the traditional white pall.
Yet the same woman came back a
few weeks later with glowing stories
about her grandson’s Baptism.
“Was your grandson wearing a Yankees’ gown?” Sister Mary Alice inquired.
“I’m beginning to see your point,”
the woman replied.
“At the heart of the Catholic funeral
is the Catholic faith,” said Msgr. Rick
Hilgartner, director of the U.S. bishops’
Secretariat of Divine Worship in Washington.
“It’s not just the remembrance of
the deceased,” Msgr. Hilgartner said,
See Funeral • S-17
3316 Hwy. 33, Neptune, NJ 07753 • 732 918-6650
Michael J. Ely, Manager
N.J. Lic. No. 4729
“Thoughtful service since 1891.”
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
Light in the Darkness
Bereavement ministry provides support, comfort of faith
By David Karas
“They are
finding their
solace in
the hands
of God.”
etta Lieb knows full well that most of
the people she meets won’t consider
the introduction a pleasant experience.
But, in many ways, that’s what drives her
to do her job.
Lieb is director of the cemetery and
mausoleums of St. Mary of the Lake Parish,
Lakewood, as well as an active member of the
parish’s consolation ministry.
And while her professional duties involve
her meeting with the families of deceased
loved ones in the hours and days following
a loss, her ministerial role involves extending the comforting presence of faith in the
months and years following the hardship.
“As part of my job, I get to meet the
people at their worst time, and because they
visit frequently and I am out and about here, I
get to monitor them, see how they are doing,”
she says. “We are very friendly and welcoming
to the families that come here.”
Lieb’s role with the cemetery and mausoleums – which serve a wide community of
Catholics in Ocean and Monmouth Counties
well beyond the confines of Lakewood – dovetails, in many cases, with the parish’s consolation ministry.
She is just one of more than 300 who
are involved in consolation and bereavement
ministries across the Diocese of Trenton, in
some 80 parishes with programs aimed at
comforting and supporting those suffering
from a loss.
There are groups of various names for
adults and children, as well as specific ministry meetings or groups focused on men and
women, but the main objectives are the same:
to walk with individuals and families as they
cope with the loss of a loved one, and provide them the support to help them make it
through the difficult time.
For Mary Ann Collett, a grief counselor
who helps to train folks for bereavement and
consolation ministries across the diocese, the
approach is multi-faceted.
“I try to take a holistic approach, of mind,
body and spirit,” she said.
Collett, a parishioner in St. William the
Abbott Parish, Howell, teaches ministers in
various parishes about the skills required for
such outreach, through lecture formats and
more hands-on experiences.
“The skills that are pertinent to use, like
listening skills, are essential,” she said, adding
that the ministers serve mainly as a source of
support for those suffering a loss. “They are a
point of contact.”
Trainings also include details on funeral
services and other technical aspects of the
days and weeks following a family loss, she
“They are all the different aspects of
what it is to meet with a person who is going
through a grieving process,” she said.
Between her parish ministry and the
cemetery and mausoleums, Lieb says that a
series of programs are offered to engage those
who are grieving, including special Masses on
COMPASSION AND CONSOLATION • Grieving individuals and families find support through
parish bereavement ministries. Stock photo
Mother’s and Father’s Day, as well as remembrance Masses throughout the year. There are
also ample opportunities for folks to meet
others in similar positions – a critical part of
the mission, she believes.
“They get to see that they are really not
alone,” she said. “We have had people break
out of bereavement groups that formed their
own friendships, and they still continue to
support each other even years after the fact of
losing their spouses (or others).”
The most rewarding part for Lieb, she
shared, is seeing the progress made by folks.
“(At first), the people are so distraught,
and they believe they are never going to get
better, (that) they are never going to survive
this tragedy that occurred,” she said. “(As time
passes), you see them, and maybe though
bereavement support groups or whatever they
choose, you can see that they have grown.”
“Most of them have returned to Church,
which I find very exciting,” she continued. “They
are finding their solace in the hands of God.”
From parents of suicide victims to men
and women who have lost spouses of many
decades, Lieb says that the individual cases
vary greatly but the results seen in many of the
clients are equally rewarding and inspiring.
“It is just a phenomenal thing to see
them go from not being able to say more than
a sentence without breaking down in tears, to
seeing them laughing…they can laugh again,
they can move on with their lives,” she said.
“It doesn’t mean that the hurt has disappeared, but they can function.”
Deacon Mike Mullarkey, of Epiphany
Parish, Brick, has been involved in bereavement ministry and counseling for close to 30
years. While he is presently working mostly
with counseling Superstorm Sandy survivors
– many of whom have lost homes and most
of their possessions, and are in somewhat
similar processes of grief – he said that the
resources available at the parish level for those
in grief are extraordinary.
Those involved in ministering to the
grief-stricken have often experienced losses
themselves, he added, including some who
have lost multiple spouses in their lifetimes.
“I think it just opens the door for people
when they realize that the people on the team
have been there,” he said. “What helps people
to begin to build the relationships and be
open and vulnerable, is that they realize the
people on the team have been through it.”
Losses can affect each individual person
in vastly different ways, he said, and such
ministries provide support that can be tailored, in a sense, to each person.
He echoed Lieb’s comments when talking
about how rewarding it is to see the progress
in participants.
“Clearly, they never get back to where
they were before the loss, yet there are some
people that get even greater spirituality or
faith than prior to the tragedy,” he said. “That
gives hope to those people … it gives hope to
families and friends.”
Deacon Bob Tharp of St. Raphael-Holy
Angels Parish, Hamilton, has been involved
in bereavement counseling for more than 18
years now, and he helps coordinate his parish’s
group that meets once a month.
“It really is an opportunity for the people
who are grieving to share their experiences
and reality with other grieving people,” he said,
adding that the moniker “grief shared is grief
diminished” rings true. “As they see other people
dealing with the issues they are dealing with …
they get a great deal of healing out of it.”
Like Lieb, Tharp understands the somewhat paradoxical nature of the ministry.
“The greatest reward we get is when
someone has healed and doesn’t need us
anymore,” he said. “The greatest reward I get is
when someone no longer comes.”
FEBruary 27, 2014 •
Praying for the dead in a communion of saints
By David Gibson
Catholic News Service
ome people cannot imagine praying for the dead. What is unimaginable to many others is not to
pray for those who die.
To be sure, there is more than one
way to pray for those who die, just as
there is more than one way to pray for
those in this world who share intimately in our daily lives. Our greatest hopes
for others, whether in this world or the
next, are what lend shape to our prayers
for them, as does our appreciation of
their finest gifts.
Whatever its form, prayer for others
focuses on what is best for them, what
God intends for them. With that in
mind, we commend the dead “to God’s
mercy,” as the Catechism of the Catholic
Church points out. Indeed, we do.
But there is something beyond
petitions for mercy that I find noteworthy about praying for the dead. It is the
deep-down sense of continued connection with them that these prayers
appear to express.
The loss suffered when someone we
love dies is not absolute, which is not to
suggest it is not painful. In praying for
a parent, a spouse, a child or friend who
died recently or long ago, we affirm that
Prayerful Remembering • The grave marker of a couple is illuminated with a
candle as a full moon shines through clouds on All Souls’ Day. CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St.
Louis Review
– though we may not fully understand
how – they still matter for us in ways that
add up to much more than the memories
documented by old photo albums.
Our love of them remains meaningful, invaluable.
Praying for the dead was hardly
unimaginable for Pope Benedict XVI. In a
2007 encyclical titled “Spe Salvi,” he wrote:
“The belief that love can reach into
the afterlife, that reciprocal giving and
receiving is possible in which our affection for one another continues beyond
the limits of death – this has been a
fundamental conviction of Christianity
throughout the ages, and it remains a
source of comfort today.
“Who would not feel the need to
convey to their departed loved ones a
sign of kindness, a gesture of gratitude
or even a request for pardon?”
Those comments by Pope Benedict
suggest there are various ways of praying
for the dead – that this kind of prayer
might even assume the form of a kind,
considerate and affectionate conversation.
Petitions to God undoubtedly rank
as the principal form of prayer for those
who have died. The Church prays, as the
Catechism of the Catholic Church states,
that those who die “may attain the beatific vision of God” (No. 1032) and “that
no one should be lost” (No. 1058).
But does that imply that our
prayers must be colored by a sense of
desperate fear regarding the eternal
life of someone who has died? It seems
good to remember that our pleas for a
loved one do not serve as God’s formal
introduction to that person.
Maybe we think that after “Harvey”
dies that he was hardly perfect, though
he was dear to us and good in ways
many did not recognize. But should we
worry that God, too, did not recognize
Harvey’s goodness or found no reason
to care for him?
My spirituality prompts me to
believe that the people I love are loved
even more by God. In praying for them,
I try not so much to petition God’s presence to them as to refresh my faith that
somehow God always is present to them
in ways that genuinely matter.
See Mercy • S-16
Family Owned and Operated for
Two Generations by The Intelisano Family
Silverton Memorial Funeral Home
2482 Church Road, Toms River, NJ
(732) 255-6363
• Pre-need • Traditional • Cremation • Prepaid Insurance Plans • Trust Funds
Paula De John, Manager, N.J. Lic. No. 3438
Teresa Intelisano, Director, N.J. Lic. No. 3294
Rudolph Intelisano Sr., Director, N.J. Lic. No. 2316
Gregory De John, Director, N.J. Lic. No. 4261
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
FEBruary 27, 2014 •
When lasagna says more than words
By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service
ften after the death of the loved
one of a friend, neighbor or
co-worker, people are at a loss
for what to say or do but they might be
quick to whip up a batch of brownies or
a chicken casserole.
And that is just the right thing – for
the person who cooks it and the recipients – say those who have been there.
Noelle Hawton, parishioner at Nativity of Mary parish in Bloomington,
Minn., said when she was unexpectedly
widowed at the age of 28, she had her
first experience with lots of food suddenly arriving at her doorstep.
“I had never lost anyone before and
found it odd and surprising that neighbors I hadn’t even met yet, as well as
co-workers, were sending me food,” she
told Catholic News Service in an email.
What she also hadn’t expected was
how her home would become a central
location for family members as they
made plans for her husband’s funeral
and burial.
“That food was a godsend, as it
allowed us all to eat without having to
plan meals or hit the store, which none
of us had the energy to do,” she said.
Comfort of
• Members of a
grieving family
accept a sympathy card and
a tray of homemade brownies
from a member
of the consolation ministry after the death of a
family member.
CNS photo/Gregory
A. Shemitz
Hawton, a senior vice president of
Tunheim, a Minneapolis-based communications firm, has been quick to return
the favor, saying she always brings food
to someone who has experienced a
death in the family; but she also makes
the point to “bring it over frozen in case
they have lots of fresh food they will be
working to get through.”
Sending a frozen meal is one tip
among many that regular donors and
bloggers suggest. Other suggestions
include: trays of cut-up vegetables and
fruit, bagels and cream cheese, sandwich trays, soups or stews, pies or casseroles. Ideally, food should be easy to
transport and easy to eat. It should also
hold well and freeze well.
Dr. Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist
and author based in Los Angeles, said
“a lot of times, people have difficulty
finding the right words to express their
condolences, and a gift of food conveys
their warm support.”
She also noted that even though
“the family may get more food than
they or their sympathetic friends can
eat the gesture is what is important.
Food is symbolic of nurturance, especially when the food is homemade. This
conveys comfort to the grieving family.”
The way these good-intentioned
foods are presented is also key. For
example, donated meals should be
given in containers that do not need
to be returned. The food should also
be labeled and include specific heating
instructions. In other words: do not put
an extra burden on the receiver.
Another tip food givers should keep
in mind is that they are very likely not
the only ones with this idea. To avoid
adding one more chicken dish to a
refrigerator already filled with donated
chicken pot pies donators should consider using websites that organize meals
and drop-off schedules such as or
These sites provide an online signup sheet for donated meals and post
information such as food allergies and
best times to drop off meals. The specific information for families is coordinated by a volunteer friend, neighbor
or parishioner who coordinates the
schedule on the website.
Often parishes use these sites
See Food • S-17
Prearranging a funeral
doesn’t just help then.
It can help now.
A funeral is demanding–many decisions have to be made at an emotional time. Consider
the benefits of the New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund™. Preplanning your funeral provides
peace of mind to you and your family. And, prepaying helps you to qualify for Medicaid. That is why
8 out of 10 New Jersey funeral homes prefer to offer the New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund™ to
deliver the dignified service your family deserves.
Contact your local funeral director or call 800.286.3628 or visit
Endorsed by the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association, Inc.
© 2014 New Jersey Funeral Directors Services, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
Bereavement Ministry
The Twinned Parishes of
Our Lady of Mount Carmel & Holy Spirit
Come share your feelings, thoughts and hopes
with us each Thursday from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
at our Bereavement Group Meetings
1212 First Avenue, Asbury Park
St. Pius X Church Bereavement Ministry
In an effort to support those who have lost a loved one, St. Pius X Church offers several
groups to minister to them. Journey through Grief is designed to comfort adults who
have lost a loved one. Companions on the Journey is an ongoing support group. Rainbows
addresses the special needs of children and teens grieving any serious loss, be it death or
divorce. Amazing Grace is a post-abortive support group offering comfort, reconciliation
and healing to those suffering the spiritual and emotional pain of abortion.
Contact St. Pius X Parish Office, Forked River: 609-693-5107
FEBruary 27, 2014 •
St. Mary Roman Catholic Parish
Middletown, NJ 07748
Contact: Bob & Eileen Batz 732-787-8566
Meeting days & times:
Monday 7p.m. for Parents who have lost a child
Wednesday 7p.m. for anyone who lost a loved one
St. Catharine - St. Margaret Parish,
Spring Lake, has a Bereavement Support Group.
If you have experienced a loss, do not walk alone
in your journey. Come be supported by our group
that meets regularly throughout the year.
Call 732-449-5765 Sr. Margaret Tierney (ext 124)
or Sr. Katie McGady (ext 148)
St. Joseph Church in Toms River
Bereavement Ministry
Let us offer you the love, care and support you seek
as you journey through the loss of a loved one.
Our 8-week program runs twice a year—winter and spring.
Please contact Deacon Michael Taylor at 732 349-0018, ext. 2204
Bereavement Group at St.
David the King
Princeton Junction
Ministry Team: Nanci Bachman, Jeanne Hardingham, John Kalinowski and James
Mahlmann will schedule their next Bereavement Group Sessions beginning in
April. The six sessions ‘A journey from Grief to Healing’ will be held on Wednesday
evenings from 7 – 8:30 PM. For more information please contact Nanci Bachman
at [email protected] or call 609.275.7111 ext 311.
“Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted” – Matthew 5:4
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
Grieving process begins well before loved one’s death
By Pete Sheehan
Catholic News Service
rieving for a loved one can begin
long before that loved one dies.
“I’ve said that the day
they die is the day you cry, but it’s
not the day that you lost them,” said
Ralph Zerbonia, an entrepreneur from
Youngstown, Ohio, who for years
watched his mother, Gloria, decline
through dementia.
“There is not even a certain date
that you can cite where the loss takes
place,” said Zerbonia. Before his
mother’s illness, she was well known
in her neighborhood and her parish for
her outgoing, kind personality.
“I think the word that people used
was ebullient,” he said.
As the disease progressed, she
became angry, temperamental, demanding, Zerbonia said. She also couldn’t
remember him or his brother.
Pam Bradley of South Bend, Ind.,
recalls her father’s decline from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly
known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – a
progressive neurodegenerative disease
that affects nerve cells in the brain and
the spinal cord.
From her father’s diagnosis to his
death, she found herself grieving “in
baby steps.” The father that she and her
brothers and sisters knew was vibrant
and personable. He had kept active,
even joining the YMCA as he grew older.
Then he found himself experienc-
Expectant Grief
• Grieving for
a loved one
can begin
long before
that loved
one dies. CNS
ing unsteadiness on his feet. Later he
began falling. His doctor diagnosed him
with ALS and told him that he needed
a walking stick. Eventually he couldn’t
drive a car.
“I remember when he couldn’t take
off his socks,” Bradley said, but he was
proud when he found a way to push
them off with his cane. Later, he needed
a walker.
“At one point I remember realizing,
‘He’s not going to be able to visit us
again,’” Bradley said. Even after he was
confined to his bed, there were still new
levels of grief.
“Dad was very friendly, and he
loved to talk. His high school yearbook
listed his nickname as ‘Joe the Jaw,’”
Bradley said with an affectionate laugh.
In time, he lost his ability to speak and
was forced to communicate “with a
strange spelling mechanism.”
“At each point, you realize,” Bradley
said, “it is not the same dad or the same
“I don’t think it is unusual for a
caregiver or a family member to begin
grieving long before the person dies,”
said Bill Dodds of Mountlake Terrace,
Wash. Dodds, a veteran journalist,
is co-founder and president of the
Friends of St. John the Caregiver, an
international Catholic organization for
family caregivers. He and his late wife,
Monica, for years wrote a Catholic
News Service column on caring for an
elderly parent.
He said he heard many stories
through the years of how people coped
with the health decline of a parent.
“They grieve losses along the way
and the relationship changes. Every
story is the same and every story is
unique,” he said, noting that the reason
for and the nature of the person’s
decline and the individual family’s
circumstances all make the experience
Yet the reality of the loss is universal, he noted.
One husband he knows had a wife
with Alzheimer’s disease. She had forgotten who her husband was. She was at
a nursing home “and sometimes would
flirt with a male resident.”
The husband visited her daily and
understood, Dodds said. “He wrote of
her lovingly.”
Dodd’s knowledge of this subject
also comes from personal experience.
During the last year of his wife’s life as
she battled cancer, he said he “had to
gradually let go of things” – whether it
was the trips they enjoyed, long nightly
walks or eventually the ministry that
they practiced together.
He said the process “can be very
lonely” as caregivers and family members cope with the gradual losses they
suffer. “It helps to know that there are
others going through the same kind of
For a free copy of “The Little Book
of Caregiver Prayers” contact Bill Dodds
at: [email protected], or
call 1-800-392-JOHN (5646), or write to
Friends of St. John the Caregiver, P.O. Box
320, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043.
More women are becoming funeral home directors
By Pete Sheehan
Catholic News Service
or generations, funeral homes
have been passed down from
father to son.
“Now, they are being passed on
more and more from father to daughter,”
said Valerie Wages, president of Tom M.
Wages Funeral Service in Lawrenceville
and Snellville, Ga., founded by her father.
Wages, a former teacher who
decided to work in her father’s funeral
home, is an example of a growing trend,
said Jessica Koth, public relations manager for the National Funeral Directors
Association in Brookfield, Wis.
In the past decade, she said, surveys
show that a growing percentage of their
members are women. For example, the
percentage of women attending mortuary
science school increased from 35 percent
to 57.1 percent from 1995 to 2010.
“When I was in mortuary school, it
was about 1 percent women,” said Jacquelyn Taylor, senior scholar at the New
England Institute at Mount Ida College
just outside Boston. Taylor, a veteran of
the funeral directors’ profession, has seen
the steady influx of women in this career.
“I was a psychology major in college,” said Beth Dalton-Costello, presi-
dent and co-owner of Dalton Funeral
Homes on Long Island. Her grandfather
had founded the business. “I was always
interested in helping people, and I
worked in several jobs after college” before being drawn to the family business.
“Being a funeral director is a helping profession,” she said. “I enjoy it. I’ve
been doing it more than 30 years.”
Wages pointed out that “it’s not
just daughters of funeral home directors
that are coming into the business.” She
said nurses, former hospice workers and
others have joined the profession.
Taylor said she became interested in
this line of work when she was growing
up in Oregon. “My family’s church was
next door to a funeral home,” she said,
adding that her friends would dare each
other to walk up to it.
One day, Taylor said, she was curious
and knocked on the door and asked to
speak to the funeral home director. That
conversation led to a tour of the funeral
home for her parish youth group. Over the
years she was impressed with the dedication of funeral directors serving families
and considered it for her own career.
When Wages was growing up she said
she saw her father “getting calls in the
middle of the night or on Christmas Day”
following the death of a loved one. She
found her father’s commitment inspiring.
“I see it as a ministry,” Wages, a
Southern Baptist, said.” “You are meeting people at the lowest point in their
lives.” Treating them with compassion
is essential. “Over the years I’ve been
happy to hear so many people say: ‘You
really listened to me.’”
“It is a difficult time in people’s
lives,” Dalton-Costello said. “You can’t
remove the pain and grief, but you can
help them gain order and control.” One
of the ways that a funeral director helps
is “by providing a comfortable space for
families to grieve. The funeral home is
an extension of their home.”
“Funeral directors also become
involved in their community,” Wages
said. When she was young she said local
Catholics didn’t have a church in town
and used the funeral home chapel for
Masses until their church was built.
She said the profession of funeral
home directors is often not portrayed
accurately in the media. To clear up any
misconceptions, she said the profession
is made up of “dedicated, caring people
who serve families and do a lot of good
for people that nobody knows about.”
Wages said the funeral home business used to be a “male-dominated
New Face of Care • Kerry J. Maher, a
licensed funeral director, poses inside one
of the chapels at St. James Funeral Home
in St. James, N.Y. For generations, funeral
homes have been passed on from father to
son, but now more women are becoming
funeral home directors. CNS photo/Gregory
A. Shemitz
Taylor agreed, saying that when she
first looked into the prospect of being
a funeral director, she was told women
can’t do that.
“I think the real turning point came
when more professions that were traditionally male professions were opening
up,” Taylor said. Funeral directors soon
followed suit.
“A lot depends on what you bring
to it,” Dalton-Costello said. “I think
women bring a certain energy to the
profession. Sensitivity and compassion
reflect the nurturing side of women.”
FEBruary 27, 2014 •
Quinn Hopping Funeral Home
Fax (732) 818-3510
Phone (800) 982-5577
“We are dedicated to exceeding expectations and delivering a
standard of service that is 100% guaranteed.”
Fax (908) 789-7599
302 East Union Street • Burlington, NJ 08016
302 East Union•Street
• Burlington, NJ 08016
T:609-386-3700 • F:609-386-8283
Michael T. Sutton,
N.J. Lic. No. 4128
Gary Collins - Manager, NJ Lic. No. 2920
Richard Clawges, NJ Lic. No. 3440
Gary Collins - Manager, NJ Lic. No. 2920
William Slimm, Jr. NJ Lic. No 4218
NJ Lic. No.
Horne, Slimm,
Lic. No 4218
Lic. No 4258
Christopher R. Leber
Advance Planning Director
N.J. Lic. No. 4339
Richard D. Smith, Director
N.J. Lic. No. 4710
[email protected]
www. • [email protected]
[email protected]
26 Mule Road, Toms River, NJ | 732-240-3800
Established 1899
W. William Saul, Owner Emeritus
The day is remembered and quietly kept, no words are needed, we shall never forget.
For those we love never go away, they walk beside us every day.
Unseen and unheard, but always near, so loved, so missed, and so very dear.
A.S. Cole Son & Co.
22 North Main Street
Cranbury, NJ 08512
Glackin/Saul Funeral Home
136 Morrison Avenue
Hightstown, NJ 08520
Saul Colonial Home
3795 Nottingham Way
Hamilton Square, NJ 08690
Kimberly M. Saul–Bowne, CFSP, Manager
N.J. Lic. No. 4110
Saul Memorial Home
1740 Greenwood Avenue
Hamilton, NJ 08609
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
Forms of Grief •
Red Cross volunteers
serve hot meals to those
affected by Hurricane
Sandy in New Jersey.
“There is a real dynamic
to how communities
recover from natural
disasters,” said Jennifer
Long, director of the
St. Joseph’s Counseling Center for Catholic
Charities of Oklahoma
City. CNS photo/Bob Roller
South Jersey’s
Premiere Catholic
Now Offering
Pre-Need Discounts!
Making your Catholic burial
arrangements today provides
great savings and less
stress for you and your
family in the future.
Catholic Cemeteries
Diocese of Camden
Rest in His loving arms
To arrange a private consultation with
a Catholic Cemeteries Counselor,
please call 800-594-4980
or visit us online to learn more at
Grief counselors steer communities
toward long-term healing
By Pete Sheehan
Catholic News Service
LONG ISLAND, N.Y. • After debris
has been cleared and physical rebuilding is well underway, counselors for
victims of natural disasters and violence
contend that real healing still needs to
take place.
“There is a real dynamic to how
communities recover from natural disasters,” said Jennifer Long, director of
the St. Joseph’s Counseling Center for
Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City.
Long’s agency is responding to
the tornados that struck Oklahoma
in 2013, killing 24 people, injuring
hundreds, and causing an estimated $2
billion in damage.
“There is the heroic phase,” where
people come and try to help those badly
affected by the disaster. There is also
“the honeymoon phase,” Long said,
when there is “overwhelming support
from unaffected areas” when people
begin to think that the problem is being
Yet disillusionment follows. Those
affected begin to look at their situation, sometimes experiencing suicidal
thoughts and other psychological
distress. There is also disgruntlement
about what has been done to help, Long
After several months, Long said
victims of the disaster enter into the
reconstruction phase, when they begin
to recognize their need for help and to
seek counseling. “Our job is to come in
and help out,” she said.
This process is not just limited to
natural disasters. Beth Chambers, director of Catholic Charities for southern
Boston, has had experience in grief
counseling since the terrorist attacks of
Sept. 11, 2001.
“Two of the planes that were hijacked on Sept. 11 were out of Boston,”
Chambers said.
“We are still counseling family
members of passengers, pilots and crew
members,” Chambers said. Other incidents such as the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing can trigger memories
and emotions in families who lost loved
ones to previous terrorist attacks.
Four months after the marathon
bombing she said her office was expecting those affected to come forward. She
said grief counselors were ready to assist in any way possible and to also refer
those needing additional assistance to
other agencies.
“The people who will come to see us
are figuring out their own feelings. We
will help them to figure out what they
need to do. We are not the psychologists, but we can work with people on
the day to day,” she said.
Both Chambers and Long noted
that the initial focus is on individuals
affected most directly by the trauma of
violence or natural disaster. That is the
key to healing the larger community.
Long said one year after the Oklahoma tornados the agency had some
requests for help especially from families with children having nightmares or
showing regressive behavior.
“We help them develop basic coping
skills,” she said.
For the larger influx of people who
will seek the agency’s help later, Long
said the goal is to help people suffering
from post-traumatic stress disorder or
to help prevent others from developing
Long said an important way to help
people recovering a natural disaster is
to help them regain a sense of security.
“Sometimes people ask, ‘Can you guarantee us that this won’t happen again?’
Of course, we can’t.”
But counselors can help people
develop a plan to deal with a disaster
if it happens again. Disaster aid can
also help ease people’s anxieties -- even
those who don’t necessarily need that
kind of assistance. Construction of
emergency shelters and other preparations can also help.
Long said counselors also can teach
survivors how to “desensitize themselves to certain emotional triggers.”
For example, they urge people not to
link clouds in the sky or even thunder
and lightning, to possible tornados.
Or sometimes the onset of a tornado can sound like an oncoming train,
Long said. People can learn to moderate
their reaction when they hear a train
rather than jump to the conclusion that
another tornado is coming.
After working with the immediate
victims of the trauma, Long said counselors will broaden their focus, meeting
with first responders, emergency medical personnel and firefighters.
“We help people to tell their stories,” Long said, “so that they feel less
isolated and can see that others have
managed to get through this.”
FEBruary 27, 2014 •
George S. Hassler
Funeral Home
A Catholic Family Serving Our
Community Since 1978.
George S. Hassler
Owner & Director
NJ Lic. No. 3193
Brian T. Hassler
NJ Lic. No. 4054
Gary T. Bowcock
NJ Lic. No. 3385
980 Bennetts Mills Road
P.O. Box 1326
Jackson Twp., New Jersey 08527
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
Mercy of God reaches the dead
Anderson & Campbell
Funeral Home
703 Main St., Toms River, NJ 08753
....Caring For Our Catholic Community Since 1869
Three locations: Toms River, Manchester & Whiting
Mark D. Polhemus, Mgr. • NJ Lic. # 3882
Continued from • S-7
Dominican Father Brian Shanley,
president of Providence College in
Rhode Island, spoke in a 2012 address
about praying for others.
St. Thomas Aquinas thought “that
we can play a role in God’s providence
for others through our freely chosen
and grace-inspired prayers,” Father
Shanley explained.
He also said:
“When we utter a petitionary prayer
for someone else, we are not informing
God of what God does not know or asking
God for a gift that God does not want to
give. ... It is part of the largesse of the
grace of God that God allows us to cooperate with him in his providence for others.”
Beyond petitions to God, our prayer
might assume the form of a meditation
on the life of someone who dies. We
might ponder how this person’s example
constitutes a legacy able to inspire the
next stages of our own life.
Our prayers might also be shaped by
expressions of gratitude to God for someone who countless times was a gift to us.
Prayer for the dead is undergirded
by the Church’s belief in the communion of saints. Pope Francis mentioned
this last October.
“There is a communion of life among
all those who belong to Christ,” Pope
Francis said. This “communion of saints,”
he stressed, “goes beyond earthly life.”
Pope Francis pointed to “a deep and
indissoluble bond between those who
are still pilgrims in this world – us – and
those who have crossed the threshold of
death and entered eternity.”
For, he said, “all baptized persons
here on earth, the souls in purgatory
and all the blessed who are already in
paradise make one great family.”
Gibson served on Catholic News Service’s editorial staff for 37 years.
Bereavement support group starting
St. Joseph Parish, Keyport is offering a free, nine-week Christian-based
bereavement program beginning April
29 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the parish nurse
office located in the school building,
376 Maple Place, Keyport.
Anyone grieving the loss of a loved
one is welcome to attend. For information contact Wendy Walnock at 732567-9486.
e’re here for you after everyone’s gone.
At The Pfleger Funeral Home, we know the grieving process
is very dificult and can last months or even years.
We can help you locate bereavement counseling services,
a support group or a resourceful book
to make this difficult time easier for you and your family.
When you don’t know where to turn,
The Pfleger Family is still here for you.
Evan F. Pfleger (Manager), John F. Pfleger Jr. (Director), Gregory W. Pfleger (Owner)
(N.J. Lic. No. 4714)
(N.J. Lic. No. 3678)
(N.J. Lic. No. 3244)
FEBruary 27, 2014 •
A wake-up
e don’t know the day or the
hour when our time on earth
will end. Is there not an appointed time for man’s existence on
earth to end? Job asked.
Now the 21st century has the
answer to that Old Testament question
with something called the death watch,
as in wristwatch. Formally known as
the Tikker, the watch’s digital display
shows the years, months, days, hours,
minutes and seconds until its wearer
Consider This
call, until you don’t wake up
runs out of time. It provides a wake-up
call until you don’t wake up.
Users are asked their age, weight,
smoking and drinking habits, exercise
routines and medical history, which are
entered into the Tikker. Based on that
information, it calculates when your
life is likely to end. The Tikker can be
reprogrammed to reflect improvements,
such as diet and exercise, advancing
your projected life span.
It is easy to dismiss other gadgets
advertised on television, such as wireless
remotes or barbeque thermometers. But
imagine standing in a slow-moving line
at the coffee shop and telling the barista,
“Let’s speed it up, since I’ve only got 20
years, 11 months three weeks, four days,
10 hours, 16 minutes and 45 seconds to
get this done.”
As it turns out, the Tikker is not the
only predictor of its kind. Scientists in
England have developed a device that fires
laser beams into the skin of the individual
wearing it. It then analyzes the tissue
under the skin to ascertain how the body
is aging, and calculate how many years are
remaining in that person’s life, depending
on his or her health conditions.
The Tikker may serve a good purpose as a legitimate aid to think about
the unthinkable.
Continued from • S-9
because there needs to be some coordination for the amount of people who
wish to donate.
Molly Piper, a blogger from Minneapolis, wrote tips about bringing meals
to grieving friends that she learned from
personal experience after her daughter
was delivered stillborn at 39 weeks, and
she became the recipient of many lasagnas and chocolate chip cookies.
She said bringing meals to the
bereaved is “essential, really” and is a
“profound ministry to the hurting.”
She also advises givers not to think
of the time of dropping off a meal as
necessarily the chance for long discussion or commiserating because the
bereaved might not be ready for that.
Piper also writes – on mollypiper.
com – that there is no set timeline for
bringing food to someone who is grieving.
“Most of you probably don’t know
anyone who lost a loved one so recently
that meals are still being organized for
them,” she wrote. “But you do probably
know someone who endured a loss six,
seven, 12 months ago. I can almost
guarantee that if you called and asked to
bring dinner this week, you’d bless their
oven mitts off. It’s never too late.”
Funeral trends
often bypass faith Food can comfort the bereaved
Continued from • S-5
but the paschal mystery, what Jesus
does to save, and the kingdom of God.
Rev. Long traces the shift in focus of
the Christian funeral to the 19th century,
pointing out that funerals began emphasizing the mourners and their sorrow
more than the person’s journey of life and
death, which he said narrowed the focus
to “an exercise in grief management.”
He said he does not object to grief
management but added that the “best
thing for grief management is meaning,” which the traditional Christian
funeral “is better able to communicate.”
He said the modern personalized
services – that leave out the deceased’s
connection with their community or
faith – offer “false comfort” that fades
once mourners leave the service.
“It’s possible to do both,” said Jay
Smith, president of Smith-Corcoran
Funeral Home in Chicago. He said most
families chose a traditional funeral, but
there are still efforts to make the funerals more personal, particularly at the
funeral home.
“The funeral home is simply that,
an extension of the home,” agreed Sister
Mary Alice. “That is the place to tell the
stories, to sing the songs, to show the
pictures.” The funeral home is also the
place for a eulogy, a remembrance of the
person who died.
At the funeral Mass, there is a different dynamic, she said, where the Scripture
readings, homily, sacred music and all the
other liturgical elements work together.
Introducing secular music or a eulogy during Mass “disrupts the whole flow.”
Still, a eulogy can be given before
Mass. Favorite music also has its place
outside church, Sister Mary Alice said.
“One family wanted to a have a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral,” which
she applauded, but instructed them
to have it outside church beforehand.
Some families have an Irish bagpipe
player outside after Mass.
While there might be initial confusion in today’s culture about the value
of traditional Christian rites, Sister
Mary Alice said, “if you take the time to
explain it to people, they get it.”
Stephen Kent Catholic News Service
“The occurrence of death is no surprise to anyone, but in our modern society we rarely talk about it. I think that if
we were more aware of our own expiration I’m sure we’d make better choices
while we are alive,” said Fredrik Cotling,
the Swedish inventor of the device.
Author Sheri Fink reflects on death
in her book, “Five Days at Memorial.”
“What was it about death in the
United States? Why did it seem like
Americans were so unprepared for it
when it occurred? People often did not
want to talk about death with the dying,
or be there with a relative when it happened,” she wrote.
Counting down to the time of death
could be viewed as morbid. But consider
the beginning of life. The happy couple
marks the projected date on their calendar, posts the first sonogram on the
refrigerator door and waits with joyful
expectancy for the day when they’ll
bring a new life into the world.
Why not do the same for the ending
of life? If there is such happiness surrounding entrance into temporal life, why
not even greater for entering eternal life?
A reminder of mortality is not a bad
thing. Anything that invites us to think
deeper is worthwhile. As the psalmist
wrote, “Teach us to count our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.”
Kent is the retired editor of archdiocesan newspapers in Omaha and Seattle.
Contact him at: [email protected]
The Diocese of Trenton Recognizes
St. Gabriel’s Cemetery and Mausoleums
he Diocese of Trenton recently engaged the services of a Cemetery Administration Consulting Service. The firm
conducted a comprehensive review of both diocesan and parochial cemeteries. The following is a summary of their
findings as reported in October 2012:
“Without doubt this is the best operated/maintained cemetery that we have examined to date in our review of the
parochial/diocesan cemeteries in the Diocese of Trenton. This is a result of very careful definition and enforcement of
rules/regulations for both mausoleums and ground burial sections.”
“The entire property presents itself as extremely well maintained and radiates a pride of ownership.”
“Even in late winter and early spring we were impressed by the appearance... St. Gabriel in Marlboro... [is an]
example of excellent care and should become a benchmark for other cemeteries.”
“Terms for purchase of crypts and niches are most reasonable with a 25% deposit and the balance payable over two
years, i.e. 24 monthly payments. Crypts and graves are reasonably priced for the area.”
St. Gabriel’s Church wishes to thank those families who have chosen our cemetery and mausoleums as the final resting place for their loved ones. It has been our pleasure to serve you.
We would also like to recognize the staff at the mausoleums and cemetery. It is their hard work and dedication that
creates and maintains a beautiful memorial for so many loved ones.
St. Gabriel’s Cemetery and Mausoleums • 549 Route 520, Marlboro, N.J. 07746
732-780-1178 •
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
Funeral Directors
650 Lawrence Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08646
Caring for our neighbors since 1888
N.J. Lic. # 3529
N.J. Lic. # 4570
N.J. Lic. # 3153
N.J. Lic. # 4447
• Traditional and Cremation Services
• Handicapped Accessible
• Serving All Faiths
• Seating For Over 200
• Parking For Over 100 Cars
• We Accept All Major Credit Cards
Family Owned & Operated for Two Generations
Robert A. Wilson, Owner NJ Lic. No. 2520
R. Asher Wilson, Manager NJ Lic. No. 3823 PA# 0130 73-L
Located on the Pennington Circle • 2560 Pennington Rd. • Pennington, NJ
FEBruary 27, 2014 •
How the internet can help the bereaved
By Lynn LeCluyse
Catholic News Service
any people use websites for
funeral planning after a loved
one has passed away. However, the Internet can also be a source
to find comfort throughout the grieving
process, learn about funeral etiquette,
join a chat room or find a nearby church
support group.
Steve Grissom is the founder of
GriefShare, a Christian program that
uses a website ( to provide information about grief and direct
people to seminars and support groups.
Users can enter their zip codes on the
home page of the site to be placed in a
support group at one of 10,834 different sponsoring churches.
“So often people who are grieving
look for help on the Internet,” Grissom
told Catholic News Service. “Websites
such as GriefShare can offer help for
people immediately no matter what
time they’re looking or what circumstances they are in at the moment.”
Once participants have located a
nearby church offering the program,
they meet for 13 weekly sessions. Each
session features a 30-to-40 minute
video from top grief recovery experts
followed by discussion. Participants
Online •
Many people
use websites
such as
org, for
after a loved
one has
passed away.
CNS photo
can also use daily workbook exercises
to give them a spiritual perspective.
For those not ready to meet face to face
with a group, the site offers an online
bookstore with specifically selected
books about grieving as well as an option to receive daily emails of support
with Scripture and personal stories as
well as links to videos.
“Some people need access to grieving material online in the event that
they couldn’t get to a support group due
to scheduling reasons or because they
aren’t yet comfortable with the idea of
joining a group,” Grissom said.
He said people using GriefShare
come from all over the globe and access
the website at various hours of the day
and night. Some 26,000 people visited
the website in the month of June 2013.
Richard Paskin, the co-founder and
managing director of
said the anonymity of online grieving
sites can also be beneficial for those
who are not ready to join a support
group. offers not only
information about grief and grief support but also material covering funeral
planning, etiquette, customs and more.
The site’s online store sells flowers,
memorial items, books and music.
The website acknowledges that
grief must be dealt with differently in
certain situations. It provides specific
material and help for those dealing
with death of an infant or child, terminal illness and death of a spouse.
The website
offers a bereavement and grief chat
room. The site points out that “social
interaction can help you prioritize your
grief and may help you heal faster,”
and it also notes that “there may be
loved ones around you who, try as they
might, cannot possibly comprehend
what you are going through or why
moving on with your life is so difficult
for you.” The option of a chat room
offers support from people who can
relate and who are are dealing with
similar experiences of loss.
As the site’s philosophy explains:
“Everyone grieves at their own pace. No
matter how long it has been since your
loss, you need a supportive environment of empathy to make it through.”
Design and construction of chapels and garden
mausoleums, columbarium projects, funeral homes,
cemetery office buildings, memorials and churches.
atlantic contractors
Hands-on approach means personalized attention
to every project every step of the way.
Over 20 years of specialized experience in the
Mid-Atlantic area.
Competitive prices and personalized service to assure
your complete satisfaction.
Contractors, Inc.
• We are the only Mausoleum designer/builder
with a Home office in the Diocese of Trenton
• E-mail: [email protected]
P.0. Box 277, New Gretna, New Jersey 08224 • (609) 296-0455 • Fax (609) 296-2755 •
The Monitor • FEBruary 27, 2014
Department of Cemeteries
The Diocese of Trenton operates St. Mary Cemetery & Mausoleum, a 35-acre cemetery with four large
mausoleums on Cedar Lane, near Olden Ave., Trenton. With an endowed perpetual care fund,
St. Mary Cemetery & Mausoleum provides a sacred, well-cared for, and peaceful setting, with in-ground burials,
crypt entombments and niches for cremated remains.
St. Mary Cemetery & Mausoleum, call (609) 396-3421 for assistance.
Christ the King Mausoleum at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church is now open!
We are pleased to announce that the Christ the King Mausoleum at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church is open and accepting
entombments and inurnments. The mausoleum features single crypts, tandem crypts, and niches for cremated remains and
is conveniently located adjacent to the church at the end of Mule Road in Toms River.
Pre-need arrangements may be made at the Parish Office Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00am
to 1:00pm. Of course, at-need arrangements are accommodated on a priority basis. An appointment is strongly
recommended and inquiries should be directed to Nita or Maria at the parish office by dialing 732-914-0300. Stop by after
Mass and take a look!
Jesus, Bread of Life Catholic Cemetery, Fostertown Road, Mount Laurel
Plans are coming to a close for development of the first diocesan Catholic Cemetery in southern Burlington County.
Jesus, Bread of Life Catholic Cemetery will feature flat memorial and upright selections for ground burials as well as
mausoleum entombment and niche inurnment. The initial offerings will include 7 ground burial section options, and will be
open during mausoleum construction. Two sections will feature upright monument offerings and five sections will feature
flat memorial interment rights.
The first of two mausoleums will feature exterior single and tandem entombment options as well as niche inurnment
capabilities. Interior offerings will include singles, tandems, abbey crypts and niche options.
Updated information will be published in the Monitor though in the interim you may contact Deacon Edward Heffernan
at 609-847-9487 for more information.
Parishes with Cemeteries
Burlington County
Monmouth County
Sacred Heart, Mount Holly • • (609) 267-0209
Holy Spirit, Asbury Park • • (732) 775-0030
Holy Assumption, Roebling • • (609) 499-0161
St. John, Allentown • • (609) 259-3391
St. Mary, Bordentown • • (609) 298-0261
Our Lady of Mercy, Englishtown • (St. Thomas More Church) • (732) 446-6661 St. Paul, Burlington • • (609) 386-0152 Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown • • (856) 235-0181
St. Clare, Florence • • (609) 499-0161 St. Rose of Lima, Freehold • • (732) 462-0859 St. Joseph, Keyport • • (732) 264-0322 St. Gabriel, Marlboro • • (732) 946-4487 Assumption, New Egypt • • (609) 758-2153 St. James, Red Bank • • (732) 741-0500 St. Peter, Riverside • • (856) 461-0100 St. Catharine-St. Margaret, Spring Lake • • (732) 449-5765 Mercer County
St. Hedwig, Trenton • • (609) 396-9068
Our Lady Star of the Sea, Long Branch • • (732) 222-3216 Sts. Peter and Paul, of Divine Mercy Parish, Trenton • (609) 393-4826
Ocean County
St. Stanislaus, of Divine Mercy Parish, Trenton • • (609) 393-4826
St. Mary, Barnegat • • (609) 698-5531
St. Alphonsus, Hopewell • • (609) 466-0332
St. Joseph, Toms River • • (732) 349-0018
St. Paul, Princeton • • (609) 924-1743 St. Maximilian Kolbe, Toms River (Mausoleum only) • (732) 914-0300
St. Mary of the Lake, Lakewood • • (732) 363-0139